The Big Apple’s current contract for the city’s 9,000 remaining public payphones expires on October 15.
If officials decide to scrap the phones for parts and material, they could add a cool million to the city’s coffers.
But if these phones were truly scheduled for execution…
Why was a top-secret meeting recently held to discuss them?
Even more intriguing, why were the biggest tech companies on Earth at this secret meeting?
But as you’ll see, the lynchpin was Google (GOOGL).
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At stake is the chance to turn thousands of New York City payphones into free cellphone-charging stations and wireless hot spots.
City officials are only insisting on one point… that the service must be free.
If this project goes through, New Yorkers would enjoy wireless connectivity without the need for a cellular data subscription.
The ripple effects of blanketing an entire city with free Wi-Fi coverage are massive.
And of the companies in attendance, Google would certainly have the most to gain!
TechCrunch says it’s a “big step toward ubiquitous computing in which Google has good reason to aspire to that end goal.”
Think of how many extra eyeballs Google would get if every New Yorker has free internet at their fingertips. Then think about what would happen when other cities follow suit.
Such a world has the potential to double, even triple, Google’s traffic.
Imagine the effect on the company’s share price. (The more Google searches get executed, the more money the search giant makes.)
It’s likely that Google has been planning this coup for the better part of two years.
You see, the company has other irons in the fire. That is, fiber-based, gigabit-speed broadband initiatives in cities like Kansas City, Austin, and Provo. What’s more, earlier this year, management announced that it’s working with nine major U.S. metro areas to explore bringing its super-fast internet to even more people.
Oddly enough, payphones returned to the spotlight in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when they served as the only lifelines once the cellular networks were knocked offline.
Their sudden popularity wasn’t lost on Google.
Now these relics could be the bridge that connects us to a brave new world of free internet.
Onward and Upward,