Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bye Bye Payphones

Um, what took them so long?

Also, remember this database from the Surfboard?

AT&T to Disconnect Pay-Phone Business After 129 Years

AT&T Inc., the biggest U.S. phone company, plans to leave the pay-phone business after 129 years as more people use wireless handsets to make calls on the go.

The first pay phone, installed in 1878, had an attendant who took callers' money, AT&T spokesman Michael Coe said. Inventor William Gray set up the first coin-operated phone in 1889 at a bank in Hartford, Connecticut.

At their peak in 1998, there were 2.6 million pay phones in the U.S., San Antonio-based AT&T said today in a statement. That number fell to 1 million this year, including the 65,000 phones AT&T has in 13 states.

Pay phones, especially those in booths, have played a role in U.S. pop culture for decades. Clark Kent started using them to change into Superman in the 1940s. In the 1989 movie ``Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure,'' a phone booth doubled as a time machine. In 2002, actor Colin Farrell played a man trapped at a phone by a sniper in the film ``Phone Booth.''

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