Friday, August 17, 2007

As Billboards, Public Phones Always Work

Editor's Note - This may be about older technology, but it's a fun read nonetheless.

From The New York Times - They stand on corners from Brighton Beach to the Bronx, all but mocking New Yorkers: Pay phones that may or may not work, which you can’t even check for a dial tone without worrying about germs.

But they remain rooted in the pavement of New York, blocking pedestrian traffic, looking a bit like museum pieces in an age of cellphones, BlackBerrys and Bluetooth headsets.

There is a reason for their survival: Public telephones are one of the stranger cash cows in city finance. Not because of the coins that are fed into them, but rather because of the millions upon millions that companies are willing to pay to put ads on them.

The phone kiosks generate $62 million in advertising revenue annually — and last year the city got $13.7 million of the take. Last year its income from ads was triple what it pulled in from calls. | Read full article

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