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Technology Reverts Back In Time As Pay Phones Aid Sandy Victims

Technology has changed the way we live and for the most part, for the better.  However, when the power goes out such as it has in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, our technology becomes useless.  Phone batteries die, laptops and pads become coasters and our connection to the outside world is lost.  In this time of need, New Yorkers have reverted back to the ’80’s and have found solace in pay phones.

Can you think of anywhere in the capital region that still has a pay phone? Do you know how to use one? With the advent of smart phones, wireless internet and all other fancy gadgets technology has provided us, a pay phone has essentially become a useless waste of space – until a storm hits.

When you’re without power, your phone batteries die and your lap top eventually turns off.  Your connection to friends and loved ones is shut down and in the case of Hurricane Sandy, a connection that my desperately be needed.  In steps the old pay phones.  For a few cents, you can place that call to ensure all of your safety or perhaps reach out for assistance. 

A report I found states that are about 27,000 less pay phones today than two decades ago but we still have 12,000 right here in New York. Abby Ellin of ABC News quotes Peter Izzo of Van Wagner Communications to the Wall Street Journal in her article by saying “Phones that normally do two dollars a day are taking in $50 a day.”

The next time you walk by an old pay phone and think “What a waste of space”, remember, this old clunker could save your life someday.  Where have you last seen a pay phone around here?  I spotted one at Walmart on Washington Ave Ext. last week.



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