NEW YORK (AP) — An ambitious effort to replace obsolete New York City pay phones with Wi-Fi kiosks that offer free web surfing and phone calls has been a hit with the least wired people in the city: the homeless.

People who live in shelters or on the streets say they use the kiosks to check in with family members, to watch YouTube videos and to charge their cellphones if they have them.

The Wi-Fi program called LinkNYC is a public-private initiative run by CityBridge, a consortium of tech companies. It is paid for with advertising.

The first LinkNYC units were installed in January 2016. There are now about 350, mainly along Eighth Avenue on Manhattan’s west side and Third Avenue on the east side, with plans for 7,500 or more throughout the city.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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