Power to the people: AT&T sets up free mobile charging stations in NYC

Four stations will expand to 26 by the end of summer

AT&T today announced a pilot project of solar-powered charging stations across all five of New York City's boroughs where the public can charge phones, tablets and other devices for free.

AT&T said the project, dubbed AT&T Street Charge, grew out of lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy, which devastated lower parts of Manhattan, Queens and the other boroughs. During the storm, AT&T helped power New York City's distribution centers with commercial generators and pop-up cellular service.

Charging station
An AT&T Street Charge station
Charging station
Charging station

AT&T said the solar mobile charging units work day or night, in sun or shade. During the day, three monocrystaline solar panels collect the sun's energy to charge up powerful internal batteries. This enables AT&T Street Charge to power up phones, tablets and other devices quickly -- even when the sun isn't shining.

Each charging station has six USB connectors, including a micro-USB plug, as well as 30-pin and Lightning plugs for Apple devices.

"Recognizing the need for a sustainable charging solution, AT&T teamed up with solar industry leader Goal Zero and Brooklyn-based design firm Pensa to develop the initiative and bring it to local residents," AT&T said in a statement.

The mobile charging stations are in addition to Wi-Fi already in the New York parks, which were established as part of a joint initiative between AT&T, the city of New York and the New York Parks Department.

In all, about 26 charging stations will be installed over the next two and a half months. Currently, there are two solar mobile charging units now live at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1, and at Governor's Island, Union Square and Pier 1 at Riverside Park.

Charging station
A map of AT&T's Street Charge stations

Other places where the charging stations will be installed include:

  • The Bronx: Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx River Park and Devoe Park
  • Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fort Greene Park, Herbert Von King Park, McCarren Park and Prospect Park
  • Manhattan: Battery Park, Thomas Jefferson Park, Central Park (multiple locations), the High Line, Holcombe Rucker Park, Marcus Garvey Park and Tompkins Square Park
  • Queens: AstoriaPark, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and MacDonald Park
  • Staten Island: Clove Lake Park and South Beach

The charging stations are shown being used in this AT&T video.

This article, Power to the people: AT&T sets up free mobile charging stations in NYC, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at  @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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