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Free Wi-Fi and Phone Charging Stations Up and Running Along Third Avenue

By Shaye Weaver | April 6, 2016 10:19am
 The kiosks are now online and display ads.
The kiosks are now online and display ads.
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DNAinfo/Shaye Weaver

UPPER EAST SIDE — Locals can now surf the Web, make phone calls and charge their phones for free at more than a dozen kiosks along Third Avenue that are up and running.

The machines, which were installed in February as part of the city's LinkNYC project to replace 7,500 pay phones with the kiosks, were activated last week.

The kiosks can be found along Third Avenue at East 60th, 66th, 68th, 69th, 77th, 80th, 82nd, 83rd, 84th, 85th 86th, 87th, 90th, 91st, 92nd, and 95th streets.

The kiosks at 66th, 84th, 85th and 86th streets are not yet online, according to LinkNYC data.

A kiosk

Each activated kiosk — which also offer tablets with touch screens — display advertisements and public announcements.

The ads currently encourage visitors to check out the "Love" sculpture on Sixth Avenue and tout the NYPD's "If you see something, say something."

The smaller touch-screens guide people through how to make a call, use the city map, browse the Web or charge their phones. Calls to 911 can also be made by pushing a red button.

The Wi-Fi signal can be used within a 150-foot radius from each machine and can serve hundreds of users at a time.

In order to sign up for the service, users must register with an email address and agree to the provider’s terms of service and privacy policy, which has raised concern among some advocates. LinkNYC is a partnership between the city and CityBridge, a group of tech and communication companies.

LinkNYC, which rolled out in January with the installation of kiosks along Third Avenue in Gramercy, the East Village and the Upper East Side, is eventually intended to grow into a citywide network, with as many as 10,000 kiosks, officials said.

Reps from CityBridge, city officials and Councilman Ben Kallos celebrated the official start to the LinkNYC Project on Tuesday.