One of Superstorm Sandy’s effects on New Yorkers has been to drive them back to the technological stone age.
Huffington Post reports that because of limited or non-existent cellular coverage in the area, smart phones have been useless. That has caused users to turn back the clock … to public pay phones.
The story notes that, “… the storm has enabled the return of the long-ignored public pay phone. On Tuesday, a line of the disconnected waited to use a payphone in the West Village, some of them making what was surely their first pay phone call in many years. In the East Village, a young boy tugged on his mother’s sleeve in delight as change returned to the coin slot after an unanswered call. On Broadway below Union Square, two men in New York Giants sweatshirts operated a payphone in tandem: One dialed the phone while the other read out the number from a cell phone, the device in his hand reduced to a $700 address book.”
Who’d a believed it?
The piece notes that just months ago, “New York announced a pilot program to convert several pay phones around in the city into free WiFi hotspots. The move was widely praised as a successful effort to transform worthless technology …”
Maybe not so worthless after all.