Hardly any new installations take place anymore, but sometimes when new structures like baseball stadiums, schools, or hospitals are being built, cities will pay to put in phones for emergencies. They’ve proven themselves to be useful in natural disasters, when wireless towers are down or networks are jammed—during Hurricane Sandy in New York, for example, old-school, coin-slot technology came to the rescue.
This is precisely why the city of New York wants to keep many of its pay phones, despite the fact that the number of people making calls from them is shrinking. In fact, the city is in the process of upgrading its 7,000 remaining public pay phones with free Wi-Fi. NYC has entered into franchise contracts with 10 companies to operate and maintain its pay phones.
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The Atlantic City Lab