Cable TV & Other Franchises:Public Pay Telephones

The public pay telephone franchises allow for the installation and maintenance of coin operated payphones on and over the City's sidewalks. Curbside installations in commercial and manufacturing zones may also display advertising. As of February 2014, there are 10 public pay telephone franchisees with 9,670 public pay telephones. In Fiscal Year 2013, the City received a total of $17,416,722 in franchise commissions for payphone advertising and usage. The franchisees are required to keep the phones clean and operable. If you have identified an issue with a particular payphone, you may register a complaint using our online form.
Public Pay Telephone Frequently Asked Questions
Public Pay Telephone Franchisee Forms
Public Pay Telephone Complaints
Public Pay Telephone Franchise Agreement

The Future of the Public Pay Telephone
On April 30, 2014, DoITT issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the creation of a robust, citywide network of Internet hotspots that will constitute one of the largest free Wi-Fi networks in the country, greatly increasing access to broadband connectivity across the five boroughs. By replacing the aging network of public pay telephones with state-of-the-art public connection points, the city aims to transform the physical streetscape—and New Yorkers’ access to information—while also creating new local jobs for the development, servicing and maintenance of the structures.

This RFP was developed following a lengthy public outreach process that began in 2012 when DoITT issued a Request for Information (RFI) about the future of the payphone. Through the subsequent Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge in 2013, the city engaged urban designers, planners and technologists to create physical and virtual prototypes to imagine the future of these structures.  The new payphones franchise is expected to take effect in 2015.

To learn more about the new franchise, called LinkNYC, click here.