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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C

Twenty two of these new phone boxes will be installed in Dublin city over the coming days

‘Digital Pedestal’ phone kiosks with touch-sensitive screens and advertising space will be installed in Dublin City.

TWENTY TWO NEW phone boxes are to be installed in Dublin City in the coming days, according to Eir. 

The company said that it had agreed to work with Councils to provide alternatives to the old kiosk-style payphones after the Commission for Communications Regulations removed Eir’s obligations to provide payphones earlier this year. 

According to Eir, 22 new ‘Digital Pedestal’ phone kiosks with touch-sensitive screens and advertising space will be installed in Dublin City.

These new kiosks will be “suitable for wayfinding and where the council can advertise upcoming festivals and services, all housed in a modern aesthetically pleasing unit,” Eir said in a report to Green Party Councillor Janet Horner.

A spokesperson for the company said these new digital kiosks “are designed to play a role that is more suitable to city life today, not only as a point of connectivity, but as an information system for the local authorities services including mapping systems for visitors and residents when life returns to normal.”

phone-box Eir Eir

Horner has been calling for a number of existing phone boxes in the city to be removed due to disuse or disrepair and says installing new phone boxes will clutter Dublin’s streets. 

“We’re trying to move towards a universal design [in Dublin], accessible footpaths, wheelchair access.

“Can we just stop adding clutter to the footpaths? That’s a reasonable starting point, let’s not add to it,” said Horner.

The spokesperson for Eir did not say exactly where the new phone kiosks will be installed and but said that old phone boxes will be removed to make way for them. 

Horner also questions Eir’s reasoning for installing these new phone boxes.

Eir told Horner in a recent response that it plans to install these alternative payphones “to meet modern needs because…the homeless use payphones to access DCC’s Homeless Services.”

Horner says most people in homeless accommodation use mobile phones or day service facilities to call a freephone provided by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive [DRHE]. 

“And with the move away from one-night only accommodation there is much less need for people to be calling the freephone,” said Horner.

Council correspondence show that the DRHE in December insisted it had not asked Eir to keep old phone boxes in place, despite Eir telling Horner that the DRHE had asked them to be kept for homeless people. 

According to Eir, another option presented to the Council recently was to replace payphone kiosks with Electrical Vehicle (EV) Chargers.

“DCC along with the other three Dublin councils are concluding the final draft report of a strategic study to ensure that the councils provide the best possible customer experience for the City and across the Metropolitan area in line with international experience, rapidly changing technology and available resources. eir awaits the conclusion of this report and are poised to assist in any way they can for this worthwhile endeavour,” Eir said in response to Horner. 

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