Today was the last day of New York City. The last remaining public phone in the city has been removed. With the advent of cell phones, payphones around the world disappeared, but one still remained on 7th Street until it was removed from LinkNYC on Monday.
The elimination of payphones in New York City began in 2015, and LinkNYC is the technology that has essentially replaced it. CityBridge has developed LinkNYC that looks like a digital billboard offering free high-speed WiFi on New York streets.
Since LinkNYC was installed, it has facilitated over 3 billion WiFi sessions with over 10 million subscribers. Digital billboards also display PSA, art and other local information. LinkNYC will soon bring 5G service to New York City.
An old payphone that once stood outside 745 7th Street will be moved to the Museum of the City of New York as part of a new “Analog City” exhibit. The exhibition looks back on city life before computers.
While New York City no longer has standalone payphones left, LinkNYC says it may still exist on private property. There are also four ‘Superman booths’ (telephone booths) remaining in the city, but it is unclear whether their phones are being serviced.
“As a New Yorker, it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to your last street payphone, as it has occupied an important place in the city’s physical geography over the past few decades,” Matthew Fraser, director of technology and innovation, said in a statement. . “Just like the transition from horses and wagons to automobiles and automobiles to airplanes, the digital evolution is moving from pay phones to high-speed Wi-Fi kiosks to meet the rapidly changing needs of everyday communications.”
In 2018, British officials realized that UK payphones rarely worked and many were removed, but some were refurbished and sold to breathe new life into the iconic red booth.