Cell phone users reconnect with landlines post-storm

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Last updated April 12, 2019

With cell phone service knocked out and many parts of New York having no electricity in the wake of super storm Sandy people are lining up to use a piece of technology seemingly from days past: the humble pay phone.

“I didn’t even know they were working,” Leslie Koch, a resident of New York City, admitted to the Wall Street Journal when asked about public pay phones.  Earlier in the week, Koch had made the most of this blast from the past by using the old-fashioned device for the purposes of having a photo taken with it, which she then posted to Twitter with the joking comment: “This is called a pay phone.  Used one today to call my mom from #NYC.”

Koch is among a large percentage of New York residents who walk past pay phones every single day and do not pay them the slightest bit of attention.  Thirty-two year old television marketer Jordan Sparks admits that the devices have effectively been hiding in plain sight in recent years but have suddenly become invaluable in the wake of the disruption to cell phones, computers, iPads and other forms of state the art technology caused by Sandy.

This is not the first that New York has recognized the value of the pay phone in times of distress such as the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, with the service staying reliable even in the face of flooding, unlike a lot of modern technology.