retail news in context, analysis with attitude

A week ago, we featured a photo that was sent to MNB by a reader of a bank of empty pay phone stalls at an airport, offering a stark and visual reminder of change's impact. (The original story is here.)

Now, the Associated Press has a story about how to make lemonade out of lemons … New York City has announced a new plan called LinkNYC that will convert as many as 10,000 pay phones in the the five boroughs with mobile hotspots, charging touch screen stations for cellphones and tablet computers, and "touch screens for users to access city agencies and digital displays for advertising and announcements."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tells the AP that "the plan wouldn't cost city taxpayers anything. He said the money to cover the cost would come through revenues from the advertising. The city said the advertising revenue would bring in $500 million over the next 12 years."

The only pay phones left, the story says, "would be three booth-style pay phones on the Upper West Side that would be preserved as pieces of New York City history."
KC's View: