Goodbye to an Icon
Though this news is not surprising, I experienced a mild bout of inexplicable melancholy upon reading it, recognizing that yet another a slice of nostalgia will soon be relegated to the dusty corners of our museums and memories.
AT&T Inc. plans to exit the pay-phone business by the end of 2008, company officials said Monday.
The largest telephone company in the United States is pulling out of the market at a time when consumers are relying more heavily on alternatives, such as wireless phones. AT&T (NYSE: T) also operates the country’s leading wireless company.
AT&T’s Public Communications unit will continue to honor existing contracts and customer service commitments until the business is phased out. The unit holds numerous contracts at government correctional facilities. All of these customers will receive advance notifications of the company’s specific plans as well as information on other pay-phone providers and product options.
And now I know something of what my grandparents must have experienced, as they watched the rapid pace of change between the turn of the last century and the late 1980’s, when death rapped its final knock on the doors of their respective lives.
Details in the San Antonio Business Journal. (Subscription or registration may be required to view the entire story.)