UK phone booths: 52 calls – otherwise they’re threatened with cancellation

Status: 09.11.2021 5:19 PM

Who still uses phone booths today, even if they are really beautiful? Hardly anyone. However, the competent authority of Great Britain wants to save thousands of famous red specimens. But there are conditions.

For a long time they were as ubiquitous in Great Britain as the red double-decker buses in London. But with the proliferation of cell phones, their days are numbered: now, however, thousands of bright red phone booths will still function.

The responsible regulatory authority Ofcom wants to save the world famous telephone booths. It has published new guidelines aimed at preserving around 5,000 public telephones in the UK. Telephone booths shall continue to operate in all locations not covered by the four mobile networks, if more than 52 calls have been made from them in the past twelve months or if exceptional circumstances warrant their retention.

‘Phone booths can save lives’

They should also stay in places where accidents happen frequently. “Some of the phone booths are only used for a few calls,” said Celina Shada of Ofcom.

At the same time, it announced new phone booths with free WiFi and charging stations. 96 per cent of Britons own a cell phone, and phone kiosk operator BT is currently screening which red payphones are still in demand among the country’s roughly 21,000 handsets.

Suddenly an ATM

However, some of the kiosks that are about to go out could start a new career: In the past few years, more than 6,000 phone booths have been used as public bookcases, such as at ATMs or to store pacemakers.

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