British telephone booths: 52 calls – otherwise they are threatened with scrapping

Status: 09.11.2021 5:19 p.m.

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

For a long time they were just as ubiquitous in Great Britain as the red double-decker buses were in London. But with the spread of cell phones, their days were numbered: Now, however, thousands of the famous bright red telephone booths are to remain in operation.

The responsible regulatory authority Ofcom wants to save the world-famous telephone booths. It published new guidelines aimed at maintaining around 5,000 payphones in the UK. The phone booths should continue to operate in all locations that are not covered by the four mobile phone networks, if more than 52 calls have been made from them in the past twelve months or if exceptional circumstances justify keeping them.

“Telephone booths can save lives”

They should also stay in places where accidents occur frequently. “Some of the phone booths are only used for a few calls,” said Ofcom representative Selina Chadha.

At the same time, she announced new phone booths with free WiFi and charging stations. 96 percent of the British have a cell phone, and the telephone booth operator BT is currently examining which of the approximately 21,000 red payphones in the country are still needed today.

Suddenly an ATM

However, some of the booths that are about to go out could start a new career: in the past few years, over 6,000 telephone booths have been used as public bookcases, as ATMs or to store defibrillators.

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