BT has struck a 10-year partnership with media group Global to repurpose its legacy payphones and kiosks into brand-new street WiFi hubs.

The hubs will provide digital connectivity for more than 200 towns and cities across the UK, said BT.

BT and Global street hub
A BT and Global street hub – BT Group

BT confirmed that Global will convert more than 2,000 conventional BT payphones and kiosks into brand-new street hubs over the next decade from 2025.

The company's street furniture also covers ATMs and street hubs, which are digital units that provide public WiFi, and live communication at a local level. Some of these sites use EE's network to push out 4G and 5G connectivity.

Global will also provide marketing and sell advertising on BT’s 959 existing street hubs, while BT will continue to provide mobile and WiFi connectivity to the units.

According to BT, its modernized street hub units will provide speeds of up to 1Gbps within a 150-meter radius, and have a dedicated 999 calling button, USBs for free device charging, and touch-screen tablets displaying real-time public information from local councils. They also feature screens to open up digital, street-level advertising for businesses.

“BT’s payphones have long been an iconic feature on the UK’s streets – and with the way we all communicate changing, today’s announcement marks a further step into the future," said Bas Burger, CEO, Business at BT.

"There are already almost 1,000 modern digital Street Hubs bringing communication benefits to local communities across the UK. By bringing together BT’s rock-solid connectivity with Global’s unrivaled expertise in out-of-home advertising, we can almost triple this number over the next decade.”