Tux Turkel of the Portland Presss-Herald has a story about a Maine town with the wonderful name of Wytopitlock (population: 140) that wants to get rid of its only pay phone and replace it with a vending machine.

A public interest payphone is part of a program established by the Legislature in 2005. The purpose was to locate coinless phones that allow free local calls, 911 emergency and paid long-distance calls in locations where a telephone “will further public health, safety and welfare.” The cost is subsidized by phone customers, up to $50,000 annually, through the state’s Universal Service Fund.

Today, the phones are scattered around 35 far-flung communities. One of them is Wytopitlock, which is part of Reed Plantation, an unorganized town of 140 residents at the intersection of Aroostook, Washington and Penobscot counties.

“But we’ve never seen anybody use it,” said Steve Waite, a town fire warden. “Driving by or at the station, we’ve never seen anyone make a call from it or pick it up.”

I wonder how many pay phones are left in New Hampshire? Hmmmm ….

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