London Phone Booths Are Becoming A Popular Way To Charge Your Phone

Photo courtesy of @solarboxlondon 
Pay phones might be considered a relic of the past, but London is proving otherwise.
People across the world have found ways to reuse those old phone booths by building Wi-Fi hotspots and pop-up libraries in New York, goldfish aquariums in Osaka, Japan and now free cell phone charging stations in England. The first “Solarbox” debuted at Tottenham Court Road in October, and since then, the new apparatus has saved many tourists and locals from fighting for an outlet at Starbucks and McDonalds.
According to CityLab, as many as 80 people a day plug into the box (which, as its name implies, is fueled by the sun). For a country that’s known for rain, I’m surprised this has been doing so well.
In fact, they did this all without spending a single dollar, or pound, I should say. This is all thanks to advertising that’s split 70 percent for companies and 30 percent for community purposes like music and art shows. The “Solarbox” scored a runner-up position in last year’s Mayor’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Contest, and now there are plans to put 10 more around the city by the end of the year.
Solarbox launched a huge Twitter campaign last year offering locations and tips (put your phone in airplane mode and it charges twice as fast)!
An article in Forbes in November stated that there were about 2.2 million pay phones in the United States in 2000, and now that number has dwindled to under 500,000. Similar to London’s repurposing plans, the city of New York will soon switch their old pay phones into 10,000 wi-fi hotspots.
But I wouldn’t be so quick to change these over just yet. I saw someone using one as an actual phone a couple weeks ago. Apparently not everyone is prepared to come into the 21st century just yet.

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