First it was New York City replacing ancient pay phones with combination Wi-Fi hotspots and info kiosks. Now it's the Second City's turn. Chicago today announced its own downtown internet stations, which will start going up in the first quarter of 2017. CIVIQ Smartscapes, one of the companies behind New York's LinkNYC system, will supply its Waypoint stations, which provide free Wi-Fi internet access, as well as a pair of screens displaying navigation help, transport info, and safety alerts.
As New York City began with just four stations, Chicago is also starting small, with five Waypoints in the downtown area, including Michigan Avenue, for the pilot program. The city also learned a lesson from New York, where unfettered internet access turned the built-in tablets into public porn-surfing stations. Screens on Chicago's stations will be limited to providing official city info, but Wi-Fi access will be uncensored.
The network will be provided by AT&T, which plans to do the same in Atlanta; Dallas; Miami-Dade County; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Portland, Oregon. SC