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Submission + - Is it time to commit to ongoing payphone availability? 1

jenningsthecat writes: Public payphones seem headed the way of the dinosaur, as noted here on Slashdot 10 years ago, and again by the CBC earlier this year. Reasons typically cited for their demise are falling usage, (thanks to the ubiquitous cell phone), and rising maintenance costs.

But during the recent disaster in NYC caused by Hurricane Sandy public payphones proved their worth, allowing people to stay in contact in spite of the widespread loss of both cellular service and the electricity required to charge mobile devices. In light of this news, at least one Canadian news outlet is questioning the wisdom of scrapping payphones.

Should we in North America make sure that public pay phones will always be widely available? (After all, it's not as though they don't have additional value-added uses). And, should their continued existence be dependent on corporations whose primary duty is to their shareholders, rather than to the average citizen?
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Is it time to commit to ongoing payphone availability?

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  • Cars without gasoline ... all that high tech is useless. Why not keep horses around too, just in case?

    I bet 99% of the people with dead cell phones (not cell towers) never thought of just turning the damned things off when not in use, and only using them a few minutes a day. I bet they were surfing the web, texting like crazy, and then absolutely clueless when the power finally disappeared.

    Deal with it.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.