Sunday, April 10, 2005

Save the Pay Phone

When I think of pay phones, I think of the summers of my adolescence, spent traveling the country with my grandparents and two cousins in an RV, when my nightly calling card call to my mother from the campground pay phone would be our signal to the grounded world back home that we had arrived somewhere and we were alive. A decade later, pay phones are rapidly becoming obsolete, as more and more Americans use cell phones to contact anyone, anywhere, anytime. The Christian Science Monitor is running a story on the endangered pay phone and the movement to preserve it:

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the number of pay phones in the US dropped to 1.5 million in 2003, down from 2.1 million five years earlier - as the number of cellphone users surged. In Maine during that same period, the number of pay phones declined by almost half, says [Maine state Rep. Herbert] Adams.

Yet not all Americans, especially older Americans, have cellphones or live in places where coverage is available or adequate. Not to mention the human factor: inadvertently leaving a phone at home or forgetting to recharge the battery.

Link. Unfortunately the decline of the phone booth brings an end to Colin Farrell sniper morality plays as well. But at least we have Kim Basinger crime thrillers to keep us occupied.

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