BigBelly Applying to Serve WiFi via NYC Trash Cans
BigBelly innovates in the public trash can sector, building solar-powered trash compactors in place of standard trash bins and selling them to governments and large organizations.
Now the company has a new plan in mind: use the same high-tech kiosks of trash disposal to provide free (sponsored) WiFi all over the city. Trash compactor locations are typically near areas where people have to wait, such as bus stops. It would also be conceivable that a seamless, mobile WiFi experience could be achieved for a pedestrian.
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The company has applied for a grant from Mayor Bill de Blasio to equip all of its 100+ smart trash cans with 75 megabit-per-second WiFi. The city has already made moves in the direction of creating a public WiFi, having already agreed to convert its payphones into gigabit hubs. In that project, the city expects to earn a more than 100% return over the next decade through advertising on the kiosks.
There is no word on when the grant will be answered, but the company appears to be optimistic. BigBelly’s director of global marketing, Leila Dillon, told the Washington Post:
We are a smart solar-powered, connected technology platform that is literally sitting in the streets of New York. We are exactly where the people are.
The company reportedly tested two units last fall in Lower Manhattan and said they were able to serve high-speed Internet sufficient that patrons could stream video without issue. Hacked will follow the story as it unfolds.
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