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Photo booths to offer Web and email access in UK high street

Draw the curtains, find your loose change and perfect that pout. Normally the domain of snogging couples, there is a plan afoot to transform the humble photo-booth into the next Web environ. Brits will be able to surf the Net or send email from the cabins by the end of this year. The brainchild of BT and Photo-Me International will eventually allow punters to access the Internet in around 4000 Photo-Me booths in the UK. Previously only used for photos, the booths will be redesigned with screens and keyboards. Users will be able to send email and access the Web. A facility will also be available for users to plug in digital cameras and print or email photographic images. The majority of booths will be in railway stations, airports, shopping centres and supermarkets. BT will provide the network linking the booths to the Web, and Photo-Me will be responsible for manufacture and maintenance. Serge Crasnianski, Photo-Me CEO, said the booths were mainly designed for email or e-business for people without a PC. It would also be used for sending photos to friends and family. Internet access will cost £1 per six minute block. Free technical support will be provided through phones inside every booth. London will get the first phones in December, with 1000 more in place by next spring. ®

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