As the City Council weighs a plan to convert useless pay phones into WiFi hotspots, there's been some concern about how wealthier neighborhoods will be getting faster pay phone internet. Now, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer's getting into the mix, arguing that the much touted proposal may simply exacerbate the digital divide because, well, it probably will.

As the Daily News pointed out last week, Manhattan and wealthier neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn will be treated to internet speeds that are 10 times faster than those in poorer neighborhoods and in Staten Island and the Bronx. This is all thanks, apparently, to the advertisers who are funding the network, and Stringer says it's bad news. "Nobody mentioned in the small print that it was an unequal system," he said at a press conference yesterday, arguing that the current model "puts advertising dollars ahead of people."

Stringer and all five borough presidents are calling on the mayor to put more high-speed kiosks in neighborhoods outside Manhattan—he and the BPs will all be able to vote for or against the current proposal next Wednesday. "People in my borough need more free Wi-Fi than in other areas of the city of New York," Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said yesterday, noting that he could not "in good conscience" vote for the current proposal. "So if you give us slow Wi-Fi, with more usages, it becomes even slower. In fact, it slows us back to the days of the modem, if some of you can recall that time. What we don't want to create here, ladies and gentleman, and what we cannot create here, is a virtual poor door with the system. It is not right."

Maya Wiley, the mayor's counsel, told the Times that the WiFi speeds had more to do with the kiosks' surrounding infrastructure than the advertising dollars. "It’s about where there’s fiber access for the installation," she told the paper.

The plan will be discussed at a Franchise and Concession Review Committee hearing on Monday prior to Wednesday's vote.