Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pay phones join tape reels and broadcast TV

I'm surprised there are still a million pay phones around:
Pay phones? Yeah, I’ve seen them in old movies : Good Morning Silicon Valley:

...AT&T announced today that it will pull out of the pay-phone business by the end of next year, selling off its remaining 65,000 installations in a 13-state area. The company said it wanted to get out before the business became unprofitable, surprising many who figured that with everyone walking around with a phone in their pocket, the coin-op sector had been moribund for a while now. Indeed, it’s a lot tougher to find a public phone than it used to be. In 1998, there were 2.6 million of them scattered about; now it’s down to about a million....
The number of phones probably varies by state and climate. I bought my first cell phone at least 8 years ago because it was getting harder to find a pay phone in the Twin Cities metro area.

Another bit of culture our children will find odd when they see old movies.

By the way, dial phones and vinyl records, aren't yet one of those odd things. They still show up as toys or working devices -- at least in preschool. Carbon paper, rust, broadcast television, typewriters, telegrams, tape reels, punch cards, slide rules and family motels will probably be forgotten first.

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