Telecom Companies and the Hidden Segmentation of Urban Space: Public Payphones in 2015 NYC

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Date
2023-04-14
Main contributor
Elijah Beaton
Summary
In 2012, before beginning an overhaul of its public communications service that produced LinkNYC, the City of New York relied on 13 telecom companies to provide service to its network of public payphones. Built on the remains of Bell Telephone infrastructure, the telecoms were differentiated only by their branding. From 2000-2014, telecom companies in New York maintained a geographic monopoly, with specific areas of the city designated as certain corporate territories. Using an unique archived GIS dataset from 2012, this project examines how telecom companies approached New York City as a market space, defining the territories between each phones as the domain of a particular telecom company. Analyzing these market territories within the space of the city will show the ways that urban space is understood, segmented, and produced by assemblages of capital. Through multiple maps of New York City telecom territories, this project reveals the complex structure of public utilities that undergirds everyday objects like a payphone. 
Subjects
IDAH; spring symposium; digital humanities; New York City; payphones
Collection
IDAH Spring Symposium
Unit
Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities
Language
English
Rights Statement
In Copyright
Related Item
Presentation Slide 
Notes
Presentation given as a part of IDAH's 2023 Spring Symposium. 

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