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New York City bids adieu to its last public payphone

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The Economic Times
24th May, 2022 21:05 IST

New York City removed its last public payphone booth on Monday, bringing an end to an era where public payphone booths were the lifeline of city commuters.

The city's last payphone booth, located on 745 7th Avenue, was the city's iconic street symbol. And the removal of this public payphone brings an end to the era that once used to be the most advanced mode of communication.

Today's population's rise in cell phone usage has made these payphone booths entirely obsolete. And these iconic boxy enclosures had no use in the past many years, apart from being only the display icon of our lifestyle decades ago.

The digital evolution has made cell phone adoption a part of everyone's lifestyle and brought an end to what once used to be the most accepted form of communication years ago.

As per a news release from the Office of Technology and Innovation, New York City, removing the public payphones in New York City started in 2014. Then the de Blasio administration asked for proposals so that they could reimagine the offering.

The city started removing the public payphone booths in 2015, and officials began developing and operating Link NYC kiosks to offer free phone call services, high-speed Wi-Fi, and device changing options in the City Bridge.

As per a map from Link NYC, the city officials had to remove approximately 2000 public payphone kiosks and replace them with Link NYC kiosks.

Commissioner Matthew Fraser said this step was necessary to meet the growing demand for daily communication needs.

The public payphone removed by NYC will be put on display at the City Museum. This will allow the next generation to glance at the widely adopted communication mode decades ago, before the usage of computers and cell phone communication.

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