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Free Wi-Fi will cut roaming costs, giving travelers unlimited access to maps, discovery apps and social media anywhere in the city.

Samantha Shankman
October 22, 2015

Smartphones are the new tour guides, providing directions, restaurants reviews, and tickets with the click of a button. However, these tools require expensive data plans or Wi-Fi, which for travelers is most often only found in hotels lobbies or coffee shops.

New York City has plans to change that by replacing outdated pay phones with state-of-the-art kiosks that provide free high-speed Internet and charging outlets.

The kiosks—called Links—will also feature a touch screen where users can browse the Internet, search directions, and even make phone calls.

The best news of all? Connectivity is completely free. The city plans to install up to 10,000 kiosks across all five boroughs throughout the next eight years, though the city can't confirm when the first of these will appear. 

Fortunately, there are other ways to access free Internet in the city until the Link kiosks are rolled out. 

Free Wi-Fi is available at 60 New York City parks including Bryant Park and Union Square and in more than 100 underground subway stations.

New York isn’t the only city that’s making it easier for travelers to access free Wi-Fi. Governments from San Francisco to Hong Kong are rolling out free and paid Internet options.

In San Francisco, for example, travelers can connect to free Wi-Fi at more than 32 parks. In London, visitors can connect to Wi-Fi for £2 a day or £5 a week at 137 Underground and for free or £7 a month at 56 Overground stations citywide. And in Hong Kong, free connectivity is available at many parks and MTR stations. 

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