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Mobile

Verizon hits switch for N.Y. hot spots

Verizon Communications on Tuesday said it activated 150 of a planned 1,000 Wi-Fi transmission stations at pay phones throughout New York. The Internet hotspots, scattered around the Upper West Side and other highly trafficked areas in the city, are available exclusively to Verizon Online customers at no extra charge, the telephone company said.

Hot spots have proven enormously popular among laptop users, who have discovered that they can tap into pockets of free high-speed Internet bandwidth, courtesy of unwitting corporations and cooperative neighbors. More recently, operators have begun to build networks of hot spots, so that they can charge people for more reliable and more broadly available service.