I want a payphone

London Phone BoothThey are cool looking, I want one in my apartment. You know. And, considering that they are pretty much nostalgia at this point in time, I wanna throw that out there now, before they start taking them down. When they do I will be waiting with a truck and a smile.
It is strange, but I cannot remember the last time I used a phone booth. I don’t even know how much they cost. The last time I was in one was when I was in London and I thought their red ones looked cool. So, how long are they going to be around?

Cell phones are pretty much ubiqitous right now. Most americans will use a cell phone when in need or during emergencies. Those that don’t have them will most likely be with someone who does have one.

I say we replace the phone booth with the internet booth, and this already being done in some places in Europe. It could be the place to get directions, phone numbers, maybe even make a VOIP call, or just check your email. With the right network you could even use them for free or cheap VOIP calls. Although, it may be only a matter of time before all booths are VOIP booths, but I would hope they include internet access as well.

A fairly cheap way to establish these would be to use solar cells on top for power and wifi to avoid cables. Of course, etiquette would need to be established. A sign like the one at gyms, saying “please limit use to 15 minutes when people are waiting”. I could imagine various software and ID devices to limit over-use, but that would be overly complicated. Just use the social influence of people.

Possible benefits are numerous. Cities could make themselves “tech savvy” inviting citizens to move there. Poorer people could have access to the internet, when they otherwise would not. Also, making more information available to the public is always a good thing “where is the closest police station, with directions and a map”.

I think this is a good idea, we just need a innovative leader (Gavin Newsome, do you happen to read the blog?) and a catchy name. All I could think of was the Wifi Booth or the P.I.S. (public internet stations). Ha!