Payphone News

It has been announced that BT is to replace many phone boxes with LinkUK kiosks (pictured right).

The new interactive payphone will provide:

Free ultrafast Wi-Fi with speeds of up to 1 Gbps
Free UK landline and mobile calls
Free mobile device charging
Free access to maps, directions and local and emergency services
Two 139.7cm HD displays for digital advertising, public service announcements and local content

Launching in London, the project will extend to cities across the UK. At least 750 Links will be installed over the next few years.

Hundreds of BT's existing phone boxes will be replaced with the new Links to reduce clutter on the street. The traditional red phone boxes e.g. K6, many of which are designated grade II listed buildings, will not be replaced.

LinkUK from BT Key Features:

1. Connect to free ultrafast Wi-Fi using your personal device.

2. Access maps, directions, and city services from an easy-to-use touchscreen tablet.

3. Stay in touch with free phone calls from BT.

4. Press the dedicated red 999 button in the event of an emergency.

5. Safely charge your device using one of two USB ports.

6. Enjoy more room on the pavement with Link's sleek, resilient design.

7. View public service announcements and more relevant advertising on two 135.7cm HD displays.

Learn more about BT LinkUK payphones here.

Received: Thursday 27th October 2016


Following Clear Channels purchase of NWP Street/Arqiva's payphone business, the plans were to replace most of the existing telephone boxes with state-of-the-art street media kiosks that offered WiFi and other services. All this was supposed to start this July. It seems to have stalled.

So far much recently they have replaced all the user notices inside the phone boxes with new ones and the company is called New World Payphones of NWP Street Limited which is owned by Clear Channel. This must mean Clear Channel intends to keep the boxes around for some time?

If this is the case, I'm going to contact Clear Channel with regards to some of the phones which have been made cashless, it makes no sense and renders the phones totally useless, in fact there new kiosks won't be allowed in parts of Westminster meaning that a cashless phone box that supports no advertising would be a waste of money and space. This is someone's idea at Spectrum Interactive/Arqiva of cost cutting but has back-fired.

The indoor payphones such as in shopping centres owned by Arqiva seem to have been removed from some places.

Received: Monday 25th July 2016


There was a notice inside a K6 telephone box in Blackheath (pictured below) saying the kiosk was available for adoption for £1 which is part of the BT kiosk adoption scheme.

I tore down the notice and ordered BT to fix and clean the kiosk. They did and I notified the council that its needed, so another kiosk saved for telecommunication purposes. It clearly is needed because BT don't check them and because reporting a faulty phone can be problematic with a smashed handset, it will show 0 usage.

Sorry BT, your kiosk adoption scheme has been rumbled. The scheme allows communities to adopt the kiosk for £1 handing ownership to local communities or a private owner for non-payphone purposes such as fitting in a defibrillator. BT said to keep a payphone up and running, it will cost £600 per year. Sorry but by judging by the state of some, I don't think they've spent 600 pennies on them.

I just don't get why they want rid of them so much when they spend very little on them anyway, they could expand there WiFi network with them and boost mobile network coverage and do much more things with a big return in revenue. It is not a good advertisement at all of BT.

Anyway if you spot any vandalised or filthy kiosks or phones that have no dial tone, do try to get the numbers from them so I can get them fixed so people can use them and increase usage! Please email telephone kiosk numbers to info@phonebox.info and I'll pass the details onto the author.

Received: Sunday 5th June 2016


Neglected red kiosk in Blackheath: This one had a smashed handset and had a lot of cobwebs.


According to this article. A man was charged with stealing £70,000 cash from BT payphones, now that's a lot of money from a small area.

So that tells me, people still are using them and they already admitted to me cash revenue is still greater than any theft, so why are BT seemingly so eager to get rid of them and why lack of maintenance.

As far as I can see theft is rife with BT payphones, many kiosks I've seen where spray painted white to hide what goes on inside the kiosks, I can count around 30 kiosks that I've reported break ins or planned thefts.

Again lack of maintenance and visits is inviting thieves and the cost of damage they cause surely is more than a quick visit to clean and repair minor damage? Here's another story about an organised gang targeting 70 payphones, the bill for lost revenue and repairs was £37,000.

Received: Wednesday 4th May 2016


BT KX100 telephone kiosk with missing payphone and coin box

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Page last updated: 1st November 2016