Homeland Security and Public Safety

Post-Sandy, Payphones Make a Comeback

With approximately 25 percent of people in the Northeast lacking cellphone service, folks are lining up at New York City payphones.

 

Superstorm Sandy has left many without power, but it has also knocked out 25 percent of cell towers in the 10 most affected states, leaving millions without cell reception. As a result, New York City payphones are back in style. Across the city, many people lined up to make what was surely their first pay phone call in years.

“On Broadway below Union Square, two men in New York Giants sweatshirts operated a payphone in tandem: One dialed the phone while the other read out the number from a cellphone, the device in his hand reduced to a $700 address book," wrote Huffington Post Reporter Jason Gilbert.

Many are grateful that the payphone booths are still around, amid projects in New York and other cities that planned to turn the booths into Wi-Fi hotspots. Such projects were generally acknowledged as smart moves that transformed anachronistic technology into something of value, but as it turns out, payphones may have some use left in them after all.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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