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Telecom N.Z. launches WiFi payphone sites

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, June 26 (UPI) -- New Zealand Telecom has launched a pilot program using payphones as WiFi hotspots.

The project involves six of the company's more than 4,600 payphones and could be expanded if it proves successful.

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The payphones, which are located in Auckland and other communities, put out a WiFi signal that can be picked up at a distance of about 50 meters (164 feet). Subscribers to Telecom's Xtra broadband service can access the hot spot free of charge, while non-subscribers are charged $10 per hour.

The newspaper Dominion said Telecom has 400 hot spots in New Zealand that have been used by about 4,900 people per month for 11,000 total hours of Internet time.

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