New York – Web Browsing Removed From Sidewalk Tablets

There are some people who just like to spoil the fun out of everything, and the latest incidents involving that notion can be found within the busy streets of New York. There have been a series of events that involve homeless people, as well as some sexual deviants that have prompted the city’s officials to rethink how the locale manages its hundreds of free Internet terminals that can be found around the city. On Wednesday, the company that manages these aforementioned terminals had announced that they would be disabling the web browsing feature on these terminals. However, Wi-Fi access, maps, and other features are still available for use.

New York - Web Browsing Removed From Sidewalk Tablets

New York City Shuts Down Web Browsing in Free Internet Terminals

LinkNYC, the company that manages these New York free Internet terminals, stated the following in a statement: “Some users have been monopolizing the Link tablets and using them inappropriately, preventing others from being about to use them while frustrating the residents and businesses around them. The kiosks were never intended for anyone’s extended, personal use and we want to ensure that Links are accessible and a welcome addition to New York City neighborhoods.”

This move is not done without rigorous studies on the matter as it came eight months after New York City began a remarkable experiment wherein it had replaced its sidewalk pay phones with free Internet kiosks wherein these contain iPad-like tablets. Because of the birth of this project, it did have the potential to dramatically expand communications options within the city, especially for residents who are within the low-income bracket of society. It also brings the city to a financial windfall because of the advertising that can be found within these kiosks.

However, the rollout of these kiosks was met with problems in the form of incidents, which, unfortunately, has been gleefully reported by the tabloid press. There have been reports of vagrants that have been found to treat these terminals to be their own personal living room. Furthermore, some of them were even found to perform lewd acts right in front of these kiosks.

As per LinkNYC, the company, along with the officials of New York, will be re-evaluating the kiosks’ web browsing feature. It is also possible that these will also be reintroduced at a later time. It has been said that the terminals’ browsers do have anti-porn filters, but because of these incidents, it is unclear how effective they were.


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