MTA Planning Cellphone and Wi-Fi in New York Subway, Will Attempt to Decrease Booger/Seat Ratio In Meantime

Well this is a hot little bit of news. Transit Wireless LCC is working with the MTA to add cell and Wi-Fi connections to 277 subway stations throughout New York, which will bring the system well into the 20th century if not the 21st.

This is not free, mind you. Transit Wireless and the construction company will pay the MTA about $46.8 million — a paltry sum — for the pleasure of offering you connectivity. Right now it appears we’re looking only at infrastructure, not actual access, and that providers and carriers will tap into the MTA network to offer service on each of their frequencies. I have a call into the PR folks to get confirmation on what, if anything, us poor straphangers are getting.
UPDATE – Just got in touch with the PR folks. Wi-Fi and cell access will be free, strangely enough. We shall see.

When can you expect a dialtone underground?

Within two years of an order to proceed from the MTA, Transit Wireless must install cell phone and wireless Internet service at six stations; secure at least one major cell phone carrier for the stations and demonstrate the effectiveness of the system.