BT has cut short its ambitious plans to transform phone boxes into interactive Internet gateways.
BT had originally planned a large national roll-out of public multimedia kiosks, turning call boxes into mini-offices where punters could make calls, fire off emails, send SMS text messages and surf the web.
The first super-charged phone boxes appeared on the streets four years ago, with BT announcing plans to install a total of 28,000 Internet booths in high traffic areas like train stations, shopping malls and city centres.
Sadly, the cunning plan stalled after just 1,300 of the Marconi-built booths had been installed, with BT now abandoning plans to create any more.
In a public statement BT said, “There are no immediate plans to reduce the base of public multimedia kiosks other than moving to locations with better revenue earning potential and agreeing moves with our managed site owners.”
Despite this, some industry experts are suggesting that some of the existing booths may also be removed and downgraded back to humble ‘vanilla’ phone boxes in the near future.
With the continuing exponential growth in Internet-enabled mobile phones and Wi-Fi, we wouldn’t be surprised if we see some of these all-singing phone terminals disappearing sooner rather than later.