Why use a foot
When from the picture they provide and nice to do it instead.
BT was joined by local dignitaries including the Mayor of Kensington to cut the silk sash on its 21st-century phone box that gives people access to free Gigabit Wi-Fi, rapid mobile phone charging, and free calls if needed. The BT Street Hub 2.0 unit is now up and running in Notting Hill Gate with others due to be unveiled in …
How long before someone decides to hog the booth, leading to street fights in the queue?
Phone calls, particularly from public booths since they took the doors away, have tended to be short. Using these data services and even phone charging commonly take a lot longer.
Fair point, but I shall give two counter-points:
1) With the dielectric strength of dry air being something of the order 3 kV/mm, there's a good chance I'd hear the fizzing of the arcing (or at least a corona discharge) between the contacts at 5 kV (and I'd probably smell the ozone too). 2) If I missed that and it did get fried, I'd put it down to experience and buy a new one from, e.g., the nearest Argos for the price of a large round of drinks.
As an additional but relevant point, I went away camping for a week with it recently and came back with ~70% charge remaining despite making several calls in a low-signal area. The chances of me even needing to plug it into a random socket are therefore virtually zero. Which is nice.
What an absolutely wank idea. What wet-dreaming-product-person came up with that idea? I'd love to see their market research..
ISTR that someone worked out that, at one point, BT's market cap was worth less than the scrap value of their buried copper and that the 'asset strippers' might be able to make a killing if they bought BT Group (I think they forgot the costs of digging the stuff up!).
Now that BT don't have that 'asset' any more (It's OpenReach's now, right?), it's no wonder they are resorting to advertising and a 'product useful only for PR' strategy.
It could well have been that article, although I suspect I read a different one first. Too many years and too much vino rosso have passed* to be certain...:-)
Tim Worstall did his usual well-thought-out but definitely unusual analysis.....and seems to reprise the idea in early 2013 here.
"The pods are also plastered with advertising"
... that's why they are there - I gather planning rules that prevent people putting up advertising panels in city centre can be side-stepped by providing an amienity by the way of a phone box or ATM and then you are allowed to add adverstising panels to that. That's the reason people still install phoneboxes when (almost) everyone has a mobile now - they not really interested in the phone inside, its the ads they can sell on the outside that's the business.
We had a new rain shelter down my local train station about 3 years ago. Some absolute bellend thought that putting 12 panes of safety glass, yes glass, into a metal frame in the shape of an upside down "J" would be a good idea. It's safety glass rain shelter, perfectly safe and vandal proof. Wrong!!!
My area is in the depths of Hertfordshire, not exactly a hub of gang crime or urban unrest. Well it took the bored youth and drunks 72 hours, yes just 3 days, to find objects to smash every single pane of safety glass and leave a lovely huge pile of little nuggets of glass and an empty frame making it useless as a rain shelter. They replaced the panes with clear plastic ( 4 weeks later! ) and shock, it's actually still there albeit covered in scratches and grafitti but still works as a shelter.
This was a rain shelter, no electrics, just a metal frame with some clear panes to keep the rain and wind out and it was busted in a couple of days. Now stand up a plastic tent with some screens and seats, I reckon these BT tents will last around 5-10 mins max!
IIRC polycarbonate clear sheets are 200 times stronger than glass for impacts. They do scratch though. I have a polycarbonate viewing window in front of my garden model train display. Seeing the passing preteens excitedly banging at it makes me think glass would have been a liability.
I also blamed the kids for stripping off patches of the mock brick wallpaper. The other day I noticed that otherwise out-of-reach areas were appearing close to probable paw-holds for grey squirrels. They must have acquired a taste for the wallpaper paste.
"The hubs have been described as "iconic, digital smart city communication hubs" with creative roots that tap into modern, edgy, urban street design.
I assume that was put out by the BT marketing department? It's incredibly rare for a new structure to gain "icon" status at it's unveiling. That's the sort of description that comes over time, either because people like it (often after initial misgivings), or because it's been part of the landscape for so long, eg power station cooling towers.
Along with the many "how long will THAT last?" comments above, my first thought was "homeless sleeping place" ... which would not bother ME (people gotta sleep somewhere) but the downtown business district cheerleaders in my town (and, no doubt, in many others) have a jihad against homeless people (partly manifested as "how do we get these folks off the streets and into housing?" and partly as "I don't care how, but get 'em away, they're scaring the customers") and this would fuel their concerns. However, I can certainly see the utility of having such cubicles put on wheels so they can rolled out and plugged in in the morning, then unplugged and garaged at night. There is a library next to a park in my town where I think this might work (or at least merit a test period), maybe there are similar places in London and other U.K. cities too?
"[...] a simple lockable door [...]"
Judging by the attempted raid on my neighbour's garage door it needs to be bolt-cutter proof. CCTV showed the attempt lasted no more than a couple of minutes - before they found the third lock couldn't be cut.
Another neighbour lost their bicycle to someone who opened their locked garage door in the house ground floor. The police officer showed where to bang once with your hand to free such a locked door. The sound is unlikely to disturb anyone.
True. I was thinking of places like libraries that have foyer or entry areas where stuff could be parked overnight but could not be installed permanently because these areas are used by customers during the day. But yes, a permanent lockable location with a handful of "stations" would be ideal.
Well, BT might be better off sorting out the firmware on their full-fibre Smart Hub 2.0 rather than f**king around with glorified phone boxes that no one needs. Come on BT, please update your consumer hardware to at least meet current expectations of security and functionality.