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BT hangs up on internet payphone

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BT has pulled the plug on an ambitious scheme to replace 28,000 red phone boxes with all-singing, all-dancing internet-enabled payphones.

The Sunday Times reported that just 1,300 of the Marconi-built e-payphones - which offer internet access, email and text messaging, along with traditional voice services - have been installed over the past four years. And while BT doesn't plan to install any more, there's still a question mark over the future of those already in operation.

In a statement, BT told us: "We had planned a large scale roll-out of public multimedia kiosks with our supplier, which has been reduced due to performance. It is no surprise that this is a similar experience to other operators around the world.

"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." ®

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