Say what you want about New York, but at least city officials are finding a unique way to bring life to the old and decrepit pay phone kiosks that no one uses anymore because they are talking on their iPhone (or other smartphone).

A recently announced pilot program in the city is bringing free Wi-Fi to various pay phone banks across the five burroughs. Ten hotspots have been turned on now, and more are expected in the upcoming months.

For you New Yorkers, here are the locations:

Brooklyn

  • Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill: 545 Albee Square and 2 Smith St.


Queens

  • Astoria: 30-94 Steinway St.


Manhattan

  • SoHo: 402 West Broadway
  • Fur-Flower District: 458 Seventh Ave
  • Theater District-Clinton: 28 West 48th St.
  • Grand Central-United Nations: 410 Madison Ave.
  • Midtown-Clinton: 1609 Broadway and 1790 Broadway
  • Upper West Side: 230 West 95th St.


The service will be available 24 hours a day, seven day a week to both residents and visitors. If you actually use a pay phone, fear not. The phones aren’t going away, a Wi-Fi router is simply being added to the kiosk.

And the city doesn’t even have to pay the bill for the conversion. The pay phone companies are spending the $2,000 per kiosk hoping to increase advertising revenues.

It sounds like an interesting plan. I can definitely see uses for it, including FaceTime (at least until iOS 6 comes out) and downloading those 3-D maps when it does.

And hey, at least they aren’t using people as hotspots.