After holding out for years, MTA has finally caved to the public's demand for cellphones in New York subways. New York City Transit has announced a deal with Transit Wireless, who's forking out $46.8 million over 10 years for the privilege of installing service in the 277 underground stations currently lacking coverage. Cell phone providers will have to pay Transit Wireless for their customers to be able to roam onto the subway network, but it's hard to feel sorry for them: a consortium of major providers, including Verizon and Sprint offered up a mere $40 (not a typo) to install similar coverage. The good news for subway passengers loathe to have the privacy of their commute interrupted by rude cellphone talkers is that coverage won't be extended to train tunnels, only the stations, meaning passengers will have to take care of business before they get on the train. Proponents cite the need for passengers to be able to text message and call out of stations in the case of emergencies, but we're just glad to finally step into a station without going through internet withdrawls. The first six stations should have coverage in two years, and once proven the system will expand to the rest of the stations in the following four years.

[Via textually.org]

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New York's subway stations to be wired for cellphones