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Thousands of red phone booths saved in UK

Thousands of red phone booths saved in UK

This symbol of the United Kingdom was promised to a certain end with the generalization of cell phones. But this will not be the case for all. Thousands of British telephone booths will finally be maintained, especially in rural areas, the telecoms authority announced on Tuesday.

Once ubiquitous in the local landscape, the famous red public telephones are now only around 21,000 nationwide. The BT operator is currently evaluating those which are no longer useful and will be taken out of service. The regulator, Ofcom, for its part announced new rules which should protect “around 5,000 telephone booths”.

To alert in the event of an accident

These will be preserved if their location is not covered by the four mobile telephone networks, if more than 52 calls have been made there during the last twelve months or if exceptional circumstances justify their maintenance. If the cabin is located in a place where there are frequent accidents or suicide attempts, it will also be maintained.

“Some of the phone booths we plan to protect are used to make a relatively small number of calls. But if any of those calls are from a child in distress, an accident victim, or someone contemplating suicide, this public hotline can serve as a lifeline at a time when we needs it badly, ”said Selina Chadha, Ofcom’s director of connectivity in a statement. “We also want to make sure that people without mobile coverage, often in rural areas, can still make calls. At the same time, we plan to equip the new telephone booths with WiFi and free chargers, ”she added.

Others will experience a second life. In recent years, more than 6,000 disused cabins have been transformed into libraries, housing defibrillators or even cash dispensers.

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