AT&T Announces Intention to Withdraw From Pay Phones

Remember when you could go just about anywhere town and find a litle black booth with a telephone symbol on it? Remember a time without cellphones, when the only way you could make a call was by finding such a booth? It seems like those days are soon coming to an end, as AT&T Inc. announced today its plans to exit the shrinking pay phone business by the end of 2008. Existing contracts and customer service commitments will continue to be honored during the period that the business is being phased out.

AT&T's Public Communications unit has continued to experience significant pressure from reduced pay phone usage, primarily as a result of the growth of alternative communications choices, such as wireless phones and personal communication devices. The company plans to phase out both public pay phones and phones provided under contracts at government correctional facilities through the end of next year. All customers will receive advance notification of specific plans as well as information on other potential providers and product options.

"This is the right time for us to take this step on behalf of our customers, employees and stockholders," said David Huntley, senior vice president for Customer Information Services. "We expect that independent providers will pick up much of this business, and, as we exit the business, we will be able to refocus our resources to areas that offer stronger growth potential and greater opportunity for the company."

News source: PR Newswire

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