Thousands of red phone boxes salvaged in the UK

London, UK | AFP | Thousands of British phone booths that were supposed to disappear due to lack of use due to the spread of cell phones, will finally be maintained especially in rural areas, the telecommunications authority announced on Tuesday.

Before ubiquitous, the famous public booths have been reduced to only 21,000 in the entire country, while more than 96% of the population has a mobile phone.

The BT operator is evaluating those that are no longer useful and will be withdrawn from service.

The regulator, Ofcom, announced new rules on Tuesday that should protect “around 5,000 telephone boxes in the UK.” These will be maintained if your location is not covered by the four mobile telephone networks, if more than 52 calls have been made in the last 12 months (that is a weekly call on average at least) or if exceptional circumstances justify their maintenance.

If the cabin is located in a place where accidents or suicide attempts frequently occur, it will also be maintained.

“Some of the phone booths that we plan to protect are used to make a relatively small number of calls. But if one of these calls is from a child in distress, an accident victim, or a person who wants to commit suicide, this line public telephone can serve as a lifeline in a time of great need, “Selina Chadha, Ofcom’s director of connectivity, explained in a statement.

“We also want to make sure that people without mobile coverage, often in rural areas, can always make calls. At the same time, we plan to equip the new phone booths with free Wi-Fi and chargers.”

Other of the mythical red cabins will have a second life. In recent years, more than 6,000 phone booths have been converted into mini-libraries, defibrillators, and ATMs.

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