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AT&T's Internet Pay Phone 86

temuchin writes: "Looks like AT&T officially announced their version of the Internet Payphone - the PP2000i. Slashdot ran a story about BT introducing a version of their own back in the summer of '99 (as reported by the BBC), but this seems to be a bit more ambitious to me, as many of them are already installed and in use. You can find more stats on the phones themselves here. I guess we'll see how it goes."
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AT&T's Internet Pay Phone

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Naming a product 2000, in the year 2001? Someone was asleep in marketing...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Close, but no cigar! ;-)

    Me thinks you moved the decimal a place by accident (hey, I'm not perfect either!). Your house would have to be in the millions to cost as much as this terminal...

    Although, if we say we're only using this terminal as a replacement to a computer, and used it the average time people use the net in my city (2 hours a day), we are looking at:

    365*2*15 = $10,950 pa

    Which is about the price of a mortgage on a small house (or big, it depends on your distance to civilization)...
  • Seen @ least a couple of these with the fronts pulled off and all the inerds exposed, once in Brighton + once in Archway
  • ..like bandwidth, etc. Since it is connected to the Internet through a ethernet port I guess it's ok. I've noticed it has a Infrared port. I wonder what protocol it's used: IrCOMM, IrLAN, IrNET. Well, perhaps it's just easier to unplug the phone from the ethernet port and plug your notebook directly. :)
  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Monday May 21, 2001 @07:37PM (#206798) Homepage
    I can't understand why this product isn't tied into their Worldnet service. What even bothers me more is the fact that their screenshot has a little AOL.com button down on the bottom buttonbar. What are the head-honchos thinking?

    Think about it. Sell your Worldnet service for $9.95 month or whatever the going rate is for generic dialup Internet service and give a special membership card with it. If you swipe this card in any AT&T Pay Phone 2000-i (aren't they a year late?) and you've immediately got access to Worldnet service, probably for a reduced rate or even for free. You've got your pay phones everywhere, so it's like free advertising. You have the opportunity to expand your userbase immensely, and maybe further take on the corporate megamonster AOL.

    I think AT&T's missing a golden opportunity to turn a public service into a cash cow.
  • Like it or not, the HUGE number of AOL members COULD be a cash cow for them. If AT&T were to get a payment from AOL every time someone clicks the button, the money would come rolling in. I know a LOT of people who would like "anywhere-any time" AOL access. Sure, they could type in the URL, but why not provide it for easy access?

  • Would the new AT&T 2000i public phones be more susceptible to vandalism? No more so then any of it's predecessors.

    Fancy public phones with display, card reader, keyboard & such are common fare in US airports, big hotels, convention facilities, etc. Often you'll see a bank of a dozen or so standard public phones with one or two fancy ones at the end, invariably one extra-low for folks in mobile chairs.

    The fancy phones seem more of a decorating thing then a regularly used amenity. Indeed aside from using their card-reader to charge calls (which could be done by keypad as well so not a real-big win there) I can't recall ever having used their extra features nor seen anyone else ever use them. Perhaps they'll be more popular with the web-browser since kiosks for this are also quite common in the same environments, including browser-kiosks from AT&T.

    However back to vandalism no, these phones don't sem to suffer unduly. Of course they're usually in fairly secure places where vandals would be quickly noticed & apprehended. Like I said: Airports, hotels, convention centers - not out on some dark stretch of rural highway or even a suburban bus-stop. Furthermore they're fairly rugged already, I can't imagine any casual attempts to damage them would succeed (perhaps chewing gum in the data-port.)

    Just to keep on informing-the-folks theme many Canadian phones already have built in card-readers and 20-character/2-line displays; here's a link to Bell Canada's standard payphone [www.bell.ca].

  • by maggard ( 5579 ) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Monday May 21, 2001 @07:33PM (#206801) Homepage Journal
    While the i model of this phone may be new the phone itself is based on a decade old design that's been widely distributed. Hotels, airports, convention centers have been sporting variations on "full featured" phones to (from what I've seen) little appreciation. "Sexy phones" are a standard spec. for impress-the-user facilities but honestly I've rarely seen them taken advantage of.

    Indeed the only thing I see new/different about the "2000i is the LCD instead of CRT & opening up it's browsing capability. While that's nice I don't see it being particularly different from the already ubiquitious web-browser kiosks already out there, including the ones from AT&T.

    Frankly the most interesting thing about this might be it's IR port. While the "Infra-Red Port" is listed in phone diagram it's not in the specs. If the phone is able to look like a standard device to cellphones/laptops/palmtops then it might be very interesting indeed.

    As to the folks whining about potential durabilty issues & such - have you really never seen one of these, never walked by the phone-bank at an airport, convention center, hotel, etc. where there's usually 1 or 2 of this phone's kin at the end of the bank? Take a look the phone's spec-page where it notes it's previous 2000-sans-i incarnation. These aren't new phones & AT&T knows a bit about building rugged hardware - trust me these will hold up to most general abuse & aren't stuck out by the side of the road anyway.

  • Hundreds of the Payphone 2000 model, with a CRT and what was supposed to be text and videotext access to data services, have been in airports and such for years now. As far as I know, AT+T never got around to activating any of the data services involving the screen. It ended up just being an expensive way of presenting a menu for choosing payment method.

    Thete's already stiff competition for web terminals in airports, especially from those startups with BSD-based kiosks, for what is surely a short-lived market. With wireless-capable PDAs, wireless modems, 802.11b access points and web phones already out there, and 3G phones a year or so away, the business travelers who would pay $15 or so an hour for access to email have less need for these every month.

    Unless they can get serious ad revenue from video interstitials--and that would be tough to foist on business travelers--the price per minute needs to remain high to justify paying for the airport real estate.

    I'm surprised these were designed for such early obsolescence. Usually a payphone is meant to last a good decade. Since I think it's fair to say most travelers who would pay $15/hour for airport net access will have their own portable means of access in 2-3 years, why didn't AT+T rig these for the kinds of things that will still be out of most people's reach by then, like video conferencing and enabling high-speed large file transfers? I guess the IrDA port could be programmed for the latter, but it's still a narrow market regardless.

    Are they betting that concerns about terrorism will lead airports to jam personal wireless devices and force people onto these?
  • The PP2000i would be the urinal version. The regular version is a slight anagram of the name:


  • Yep, I have used one of these... while the screen is smaller than that of my laptop and any website/email use of the keyboard is on a very slow point-and-point basis, the fact that I could read slashdot and play planetarion with reasonable speed from a railway station was pretty impressive...
  • Forget the Internet phones and the rental office space. If you have a laptop with you, head for the nearest "pay-fax." Have a look underneath the table it sets on and you'll see the fax is plugged into a normal RJ-11 jack. Plug in your laptop, dial into a convenient 800# (I use AT&T Worldnet while on the road) and you're set.

    Having done this at several US airports, I know it works. (anwhere else in the world just plug the damn thing into your GSM phone [I use Nokia 6150] and forget payphones.)

    Of course the above hints are for email. If you just have to synch your a.b.p.e.slashgeeks, you might need the bandwidth these services offer. :-)
  • While those around you with the right equipment get to know *all about* your taste in sex objects? Good idea.
  • This device will really appeal to the AOL crowd - nothing to think about except how to claim it on the expense report.

    I myself would not use anything like this. I'm not thrilled about leaving pages I've visited lying around in the cache on some AT&T administered computers harddisk. In an airport no less - nice way for someone to read my e-mail if they can hack the thing. With this cool little gadget [nokia.com] in my laptop and proper airport facilities, I can use my VPN connection to have secure access. This article [canadacomputes.com] explains even more of what I'd be willing to pay for - bandwidth, nothing more.

  • you are a karma whore

    Honey, i'm a karma diva.


  • by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Monday May 21, 2001 @06:54PM (#206809) Homepage Journal
    the PP2000i

    Sounds like it doubles as a pay toilet.

    (Why do i get the feeling i'm going to regret not clicking the "Anonymous" checkbox?)


  • I remember that when I started going to college in Boston in 1994 AT&T had a shiny new "Internet Payphone" installed near the bathrooms in the Galleria Mall. When I pressed the "Data Services" button a screen came up that said "Coming soon". I visited the same payphone on a trip a year or so ago, and guess what? Data services were still "Coming soon". In the meantime, I've bought a Libretto, a GSM phone, and no longer have any use for the things. If there was going to be any gee-wiz value to the things at all, it wouldn't been within the first *five years* that the damned things were installed. Makes me wonder about who makes the decisions at our erstwhile Ma Bell.
  • ... they have had things like these [jfedor.org] on the streets for years.

  • We delivered this baby in 1996:

  • I'd sure love to see your pictures, as I live in Hong Kong and have never seen an 'e-billboard' with a BSOD.

  • On my way from Pittsburgh to New York recently, we stopped at a big truck stop in Carlisle. They had one of these Internet kiosks. The ads really are quite intrusive, and they let you read some documentation on the service before you plunk down your dollar.

    I noticed, while reading the documentation, a modem dialing up and connecting at some 28.8 kbps. As mentioned in the article, this is dial-up. The second thing that I noticed was that unless you're an AOL subscriber, don't expect to do much *reading* of e-mail; the service is mainly for outbound messages. That said, it doesn't appear to support IMAP features at all.

    Overall, it's not a bad idea for the person who needs a quick Internet fix, but certainly no replacement for full access.
  • Holy Moses...do you see how many ads are in that screen shot?

    Ok, fine, call me a socialist, please government, fund public internet access. Give out "internet access stamps" or something.
  • They need an ethernet jack on it, and a plug for a laptop PS. Just think, pay 25 cents a minute at the airport to check your email, etc... Cheaper than using the Cell or ricochet, and faster too.


    Honk if you've never seen an Uzi fired out a car window.

    This sig 80% recycled bits, 20% post user.
  • Well, ethernet and network design is getting far enough along where the average user could just plug their DHCP enabled laptop into an ethernet jack and have access. Yes, it would be a big headache as far as security and administration go, but you keep it completely seperate from any other network you have, disallow every packet except verified HTTP, SMTP, POP, IMAP, SSH, HTTPS, and a few others, and you're set.

    If you set this up at an airport with no user support, but a charge of $20/Hr (the only accessable web page when they start is a credit card or other payment scheme page which starts a java app which must be running for continued access) and you'd easily cover the cost of one system administrater for every 100 ethernet ports spread around an airport, and make a freaking huge profit to boot. People would pay 33 cents a minute for this stuff, especially when their flight is delayed. Offer discounts when the flight is delayed. Avoid people who are trying to break in by requiring good ticket information to use the service (ie, hackers may not be motivated enough to try if they have to buy a $75 ticket to chicago that will only let them use the service until the flight leaves).

    It'll happen, but it'll probably start out as a free ad based service, perhaps available to those using wireless ethernet cards, requiring only ticket info to use the service (enabled 5 hours before the flight leaves, disabled when the plane leaves the ground)

    I volunteer to set it up for Detroit Metro airport.

    Got Route?

    This sig 80% recycled bits, 20% post user.
  • Hmmm.

    10 cents a minute for minimum 9600bps (max about 33k, I believe, with a direct digital connection?), or 33 cents a minute for a part of a T1. Oh, and these are business users with no patience and a company card.


    The shark on jaws was just complaining about its TMJ.

    This sig 80% recycled bits, 20% post user.
  • I think I saw one of these at JFK. It was crashed, and asking "OK?" and registered something like 5 hours of use at the top of the screen.

    I doubt that it is "OK" to the person who was using it.
  • Sell your Worldnet service for $9.95 month or whatever the going rate is for generic dialup Internet service

    The key term here is dialup, the phone is rigged to run on an ethernet connection. I for one wouldn't pay the $5/10-minutes these terminals typically charge at airports for a 56k connection. Also, if they connected via dial-up, then you wouldn't be able to use the phone and internet features at the same time, which from my experience is important if you're calling back to you're office to pass-off tasks sent to you in your email. Or calling someone who has sent you their phone number and needs an immediate response.

  • In fact there are loads of these MultiPhones around London, and the Internet access is completely free until the end of June. As a result, I rarely see one that is not being used!
    More details on the phones here [bt.com]. Incidentally, the BT phones run QNX [qnx.com] - they decided NT was not appropriate for a device that had to run continuously and reliably!
  • i thought the same thing but then thought they should be fairly safe at places like airports. if they were installed at every small town gas station i'd assume there'd be much more potential for vandalism or even theft.
  • If you could pay for this pay phone call with your WAP phone! Just like the soda machines [allnetdevices.com] that are already in europe.

    Think about the convenience, no more fishing for change!

    - Todd

    P.S. 8-)
  • There's a few on Princes Street, Edinburgh. Never seen anyone use them, though.
  • Could be worse.. Could have walked into Smith and found out you were scheduled for a Airlink puddle jumper out of G12.. :)

    The last half-dozen times I've departed Metro, it's been from a low F or a low E.. Last trip departed from F2, and thank Deity, I cleared check-in at 8:57 for a flight departing at 9:10.

  • Can you imagine that. You just get off a 32 hour flight from Timbucktoo, and you think, "Hey, I'll check my email." So you put in your credit card reluctantly, after seeing the exhorbarant fees, only to find that the thing BSDs. Of course, it keeps charging you! That is too good. Meanwhile, the poor sucker can't check into his hotel because his card is max-ed!
  • Also, rather amusingly, the email and SMS services are remarkably anonymous. Somehow BT didn't think that anyone would possibly want to abuse a service like this to send abusive/joke/whatever SMS or email messages.... No, of course that would never happen.

    Are they completely stupid, or just braindead?
  • France Telecom has chosen a simpler solution. Last time I've been to the Gare de Lyon railroad station, I noticed that most payphones had an RJ45 socket on them.

    While I've never actually seen anyone plugging his/her computer in these, I found the idea rather cool :-)

    Thomas Miconi
  • the BT phones are already in place, actually. There's a couple along Kensington High Street, for example. They offer web access and, v.usefully, SMS, for about 10p (14cents) a minute or so. The keyboard is small, and made of aluminium, so it's not exactly going to take over from the local branch of EasyEverything, but they are kind of useful if you need movie times or something.

    Having said that, there is such an outbreak of cybercafes and proper, full sized, internet kiosks everywhere here that they really have no reason to exist. Pretty much anywhere where there are tourists, or backpackers, there is internet access going very cheaply.
  • Well BT have got quite a few of their internet phones in use in the UK and they seem pretty vandal-proof.

    Actually there seem to be two types at least:

    • one with a larger colour LCD monitor (as spotted in main railway stations, e.g. Waterloo). Full web browser etc. Called the Multiphone [bt.com].
    • a more heavy duty vandal proof version (as seen in my local neighbourhood, Hackney in East London). It's a Text and Email phone [bt.com], no web access but lets you email for 20p a time (same as a local 3 minute phone call).
    The large colour screened version seems pretty robust anyway, but the text and email ones round my area have smaller black and white screens, and the keyboards are raised metal keys on a metal pad like voice only telephones have. So I think you'd need some serious industrial equipment to trash them, a mere brick isn't going to do too much damage.
  • They will probably be behind more firewalls then an AOL spamer.
    =\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\= \=\=\=\=\
  • There's a few of these scattered throughout Leeds too, looking all lonely and unused. I think even the vandals have been steering clear of them, though I doubt that'll last too long.

    I actually got to use one of these in some motorway services (M1 northbound, somewhere in the Midlands North of the Leicester area) - they were on some sort of free trial (I think they may have been a more recent model than those in the phone boxes). Typing an address on an LCD touchscreen is not something particularly enjoyable (esp since the keys were too small and insensitive). Plus they only seemed to have limited support for stuff like JavaScript etc.

  • by Argylengineotis ( 118734 ) on Monday May 21, 2001 @08:39PM (#206833)
    Prefab DDoS Hosts

    Devices like these phones, web-appliances of moderate power, are going to make terrific hosts for script kiddies and info-terrorists.

    Also, I can imagine a group of rascally troublemakers that traceroute the phones and sniffs/decrypts packets, grabbing conversations for perhaps public amusement purposes. Much like a police scanner picking up cell-phone conversations.
  • And an ethernet terminal is a just the right size put used chewing gum too!
  • It seems like the US is playing catch up with Europe. Not only has BT got Internet phones, but ESAT has here in Irelands. What's more they are starting to crop up all over the place including pubs.
  • Europe has always been stronger when it comes to telecoms. Not necessarily cheaper but definitely more advanced and with more sense of purpose.

    Take mobile phones as an example. Europe got behind the GSM standard years ago which is why my phone works in practically every populated centre in the world (except the US). Meanwhile US customers are languishing under competing standards that mightn't cover even other US cities let alone anywhere else.

  • They are currently free (albeit amazingly slow and unresponsive, which is to be expected from British Telecom (itself an amazingly slow and unresponsive company)) but will not be for much longer.

    I understand they are to start charging for access soonish.
  • Only one thought ran through my head as I read that... "Bad! Bad! Bad!"

    The Internet is being paid for through our ISP subscriptions, and free phone services are making their own profits... Once again, big business is proving that the entire fricking world revolves around the almighty dollar (or international equivalents).

    I suspect that this won't end until we finally actually exhaust our natural supplies of things... then we'll be in a shithole and money won't mean a thing. :-)

  • Isn't the Denver airport installing free 802.11 transmitters? I hope this cash cow won't impede that movement. Also, they want me to pay a minimum of a dollar to look at (I counted) 10 ads surrounding web content? Uh, what's that word... oh yeah, it's NO.
  • Yeah, there is (at least) one in Euston too, Its been there about a year. Never had the urge to use it yet, never seen anyone use it either...

  • Is this a new grown up approach to marketing, after the downturn of dotcoms, attempting to make things appear older than they really are

    Never ascribe to malice...

  • $0.25 a minute for a cell call?

    AT&T themselves doesn't even charge that. They'll give you 400 cell minutes for $40. That's just $0.10 a minute.

    And here I was thinking of using Ricochet if it ever came here (fat chance), but if I have to pay $1,800 a month for the standard 120 hrs. most people 'round here use, well sir, no thanks. :-) I'd rather just build my own guerilla wireless network. It'd be cheaper.

  • "The fee to use all of the capabilities is 25 cents per minute, with a four-minute minimum. The unit accepts credit cards or cash - $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills - for payment."

    Lesse, $15 an hour? I only want to rent it, not buy it. A mortgage on a house doesn't cost that much!

    Somehow I think I'll just stick to using my RIM Pager for websurfing away from home.
  • They need an ethernet jack on it, and a plug for a laptop PS. Just think, pay 25 cents a minute at the airport to check your email, etc...

    25c/min? Given that choice, I'd rather use the free terminals and web-based mail accounts that I saw the last couple of times I went through an international airport. Of course it was Sydney, rather than somewhere like Ulan Bator...

  • My local phone company (Quest), recently announced that it would increase pay phone rates from .35 to .50 for local calls. I think that .25/minute is pretty cheap, especially considering that you get web access with it. And yes, I do realize that there is a 4 minute minimum. I wouldn't do a lot of surfing on them, but having the option will be nice.

    And I will have something to do while on the phone with relatives!

  • I think you misunderstand his point. He is talking about a customer loyalty program. You sign up for AT&T Worldnet dialup internet ($9.95 if you sign up for an AT&T long distance plan IIRC) and you get a card you can use at one of their Internet payphones for some kind of discount (perhaps $0.15/minute instead of $0.25/minute). AT&T wins in several ways -- they attract people who are business travellers (especially if the card can be used as a calling card also), they get usage of the internet payphone, they have that person/family as an internet customer (yes, it is dialup, but dialup internet connection is still popular and is useful if one travels a lot) and a long distance customer. A smart business decision for AT&T all the way around.

  • The fee to use all of the capabilities is 25 cents per minute, with a four-minute minimum

    That's 15 usian dollars and hour. Pricey for checking quicky email. but I'm sure some sales geek will bill it to the company.

    The unit accepts credit cards or cash

    Time for the company credit card.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • Does it cost the same for a local call as it does for a long distance call?

    I recall a few years ago the idea of using the internet for free long distance calling (free being no extra charge above your ISP charge). How does that apply here? Or were the phone companies lying when they said they were all for the reduced cost for long distance calls?
    3 S.E.A.S - Virtual Interaction Configuration (VIC) - VISION OF VISIONS!
  • It's available in canada since 1999: http://www.bce.ca/en/news/releases/bc/1999/08/05/3 16.html

    Since then, it was refined and deployed elsewhere. I saw one today in a convenience store (Couche Tard) in Montréal (cote des neiges). It's a similar terminal, but with a web cam.

    It cost 0.30$/min... But it's really useful to check if the important email you were waiting for arrived while you are travelling...

  • Judging by the photos on the AT&T site, they are using touchscreen phones similar to the ones that BT was installing in major railway stations and airports over a year ago. As "unambitious" as BT is (I don't know where this came from, perhaps the original poster meant UNAMERICAN), they have since learnt from this and are now installing phones with metal keyboards (basically overgrown payphone keyboards) all over London and other major cities. I haven't had a close look at one, but I imagine they have a replacable perspex cover over the LCD to protect it from vandalism. Probably also a CCTV in every phone booth, this being the land of public surveillance.
  • Hundreds of the Payphone 2000 model, with a CRT and what was supposed to be text and videotext access to data services, have been in airports and such for years now. As far as I know, AT+T never got around to activating any of the data services involving the screen. It ended up just being an expensive way of presenting a menu for choosing payment method.
    10 years ago (yes, 1991), I used one of these in LAX to check my email on my box in Minneapolis. I thought it was very cool. A few months later, the service was discontinued because it wasn't tarriffed. The FCC said companies providing transport could not provide content. My, how things have changed...
  • International in Hartford, CT, they have a couple similar items, with the exception that you can use them for free. Completely free internet. Just sit down, log in with your freely registered login, and surf. Heck, I even managed to pull up my computer via the vnc applet and do stuff on it. Ok speeds too. Only thing this doesn't have is phone, and who really needs to use the phone on the net? What's wrong with paying 25-35 cents for many minutes?
  • well considering that in thailand - thai air allows for free internet access in their waiting lounges - I think there are better options.

    I was on the island of koh samui in thailand at the airport and they let you surf for 15 mintues (if there are others waiting) as a complimentary service.

    *EVERYTHING* is way too overpriced at airports these days (McDshit/donalds anyone) and to promote 20/hr - is not the best solution.

    it is high time that people stop trying to gouge the money from peoples wallets. I am in favor of capitalism - but not lunacy.

    I challenge all people to start putting lesser value on money. imagine if you begin to create cyberspace in a manner that is cheaper - faster - more efficient. lining at&t's pockets is the *least* of my priorities.

  • When I was in Hong Kong - they had these e-billboards all over. and on several of them was the famous message:

    "This program has performed an illegal opertaion, if the problem persists...."

    thought it was great - so i took several pictures of it.

  • so would that be:

    payphones never die - they just find new billing protocols.


    or some variant.
  • I will post them - I have to get them developed. they were in down town HK proper - right near the star ferry terminal to tsim sha tsui (sp?). by the over head walkway. they have monitors there that advertise different things - and 3 or so were not BSOD'd but had an alert window with "this program performed an illegal operation..."
  • I know that ive said it already - but in hong kong...

    in the airport - you buy a ticket for the train to down town - then you can insert the ticket into the phone for a "free" call. the phone has an 8" or so LCD touch screen on it - with web access, then you can voice search for the number, manual dial - or look it up. it advertises and does other things - but I was in a hurry, and with a woman - so didnt have too much time to check out all its capabilities! :)

  • There has been a BT internet payphone installed at Chancelry Lane tube station (right beside WorldCom's office, ironically enough) for quite a while now. Curiously, it won't accept money and is marked for emergency use only. Quite what emergencies require net us never seemed to be made clear.

    On the fun geek side, they seem to crash regularly and you get to watch the OS (looked like a linux variation) boot up along with the processor and memory info.

  • by krazo ( 220290 ) on Monday May 21, 2001 @07:10PM (#206859)
    And to think, a month ago, we were asking, Is the Payphone Dead? [slashdot.org]

    Not at all! It's just been remodelled to allow for new levels of mayhem. In the new internet era, cracking a payphone just seemed so boring. Now, ATT is poised to change all that with the introduction of the Internet Payphone! All your cracking AND phreaking needs in one machine! What more could a script kiddy want?

  • "pay 25 cents a minute at the airport to check your email"

    Why would I do that when I can fire up Airport (Apples stuff) set up DHCP and download pr0n while checking my email for free in that very same airport. Try it sometime.

  • by kyz ( 225372 ) on Monday May 21, 2001 @07:14PM (#206861) Homepage
    It just so happens that BT's initial attempt at the web / email / phone combo was too expensive for most people. So right now, all BT's netphones [bt.com] are FREE for internet, email and text messaging. Which, predictably, makes them very popular. Presumably, BT wants to encourage use before re-applying the charge.
  • My thoughts exactly! - now we now how they were able to unload all that excess i-opener hardware.

    Seriously, these machines are going to be beat on hard - they need the cheapest solution available, which the i opener is.
  • I've had the opportunity to use these. I didn't think twice about it (because aparently everyone else in the airport had, because it was the only pay phone not in use). It worked like a champ. No issues at all.

  • Now I can pay for the extra latency! WooHoo!
  • I could just see ATT installing a web-cam on every one, with a tie-in to the central database via face recognition to look up your records and sexual preferences.

    OT: Anybody else get bogus subscriptions in the mail? I've got the Star, Reader's Digest, and some others that some asshole signed me onto. Probably making cash off me, too. If the bastards want to sign me up, they can go ahead, I just want them to send me a fiver first...

  • Don't the moderators know that it's not troll if it's posted under a login?!? LOL, Karma is my life... not! I still say that these things had better be filtered, or at least wipe-clean...
  • Slashdot on the go!

    What will the penalty for surfing pr0n from one of these? Of course, given their public location, it wouldn't be a good place anyways.

  • Beat you to the denial of service attack?

    L337 H4#0R

  • by kireK ( 254264 )
    But will it take the new fscking dollar coin?
  • Is that supposed to be a clever play on the word "airport"? Because other than that, I'm not sure there would be an open 802.11 network at every airport.
  • LAX and some other airports already have payphones with phone jacks so you can plug in the ol' laptop and check your email, for a flat rate of 25c or whatever a local call costs. What is the point of high speed high cost connections? Am I going to be playing EverQuest online at the airport lounge? I don't think so ... who really needs high speed access from an airport?

    This seems like just another excuse to install fancy technology that isn't needed and charge an arm and a leg to fools easily excited by big techno acronyms. Stick a phone jack into all existing pay phones is all that's really needed.


  • hey, i think matáv here in hungary is doing some kind of net.phone thing where you use a special card from a regular pay phone and it switches you over to an IP network.

    i saw an ad somewhere... but i can't find it now, so i'm not sure. any magyar /.ers with more info?

  • OK, so who can't wait to get the IP address of one of these suckers.

    Maybe get the IP address of the one across the road from you and periodicaly flash pro-cannabis [smokedot.org] information up on the screen. ;-)


  • I saw an internet payphone at a gas station in Nowheresville, Ohio yesterday. Put in exhorbant amounts of cash, read Slashdot for a few minutes. These phones are not only not new, they are exceedingly stupid.
  • Does anyone else think that this thing looks an awful lot like an i opener. Perhaps this is licensed from the infamous Netpliance?
  • As has already been said, AT&T came out with the Phone2000 service back in the mid nineties (I think I saw my first one in Baltimore in 96). I remember that particular version had a keyboard with the CRT and I could use the 2400 baud builtin modem to dialin to my company's timeshare modem pool.

    What I remember most though was a few weeks later when I tried to use the same terminal (at the same hotel) and found the service had been disabled. Apparently, AT&T had not gotten the service (any of the data services - including the plug in modem jack) properly tariffed so the FCC ordered them shut down....after that, models of the phone appeared without the keyboard. And I gave up after a couple times of trying the rj-11 jack for my modem (with the feature disabled).

    The point is of course - that througout the country they had these fancy cool looking phones that were non-functional....I know the TCom Act of 9x should have cleared the way - but what's the likelyhood that AT&T has learned from it's mistakes?

    Btw, in a somewhat related note - I've started noticing lots of these "internet" terminals around - ranging in price from 10 to 99 cents per minute....in places from airports and turnpike rest areas to (yes, unbelievable) my local 7-11. What scares me is not one of these disclose their privacy policy or tracking policy...I mean - if I check my private email server I wonder if they'll somehow use the URL to track me down and innundate me with spam;)

    Ah, the wonders of public use internet boxes....
  • These phones seem to run a specialised operating system, which is logical enough. Setting up a system whereby people could plug their laptops in would be convenient, but (correct me if I'm wrong) would it not be somewhat difficult while also hugely increasing the potential for security holes and general abuse? I think that the general point AT&T had in mind was quick and easy net access for luzers; they probably expected the nerds and geeks to keep on using their airports/cellphone modems etc.
  • Per hour? I can understand the four-minute minimum time, but if the PP2000-i becomes popular doesn't it seem strange to have such long potential access times? I mean, sure, anyone else wanting to use it could either whine until you get off or beat you into submission, but it's a lot easier to spend more time than you intended on the net than talking to someone in a public place. Unless you have a large bank of consoles, I can envision some rather unpleasant scenes.
  • It strikes me that something with an LCD panel is begging someone to smash it in, and keyboards are a lot more fragile than your average payphone number pad. I realise that AT&T are intending to position these devices in airports etc, but even in locations such as these with a lot of supervision, surely there would be a lot more maintenance involved than with a normal public phone. The article doesn't seem to specifically mention vandalism, but if AT&T intend to market the 2000-i more widely at some stage, it could become a problem. I am, of course, speaking from a somewhat uninformed viewpoint, since I live in New Zealand and not America.

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