Tuesday, January 17, 2006

BT halts internet kiosk rollout

We have smart phones, we have Blackberries, we have laptops with wireless cards, 3G, CDMA, and a host of other acronyms that are hard to remember and even harder to understand. But with all of these mobile technologies, I wonder why BT thought it would be a good idea to deploy 28,000 web kiosks across the UK?

In retrospect, apparently, it wasn't such a good idea, and the lack of demand for the kiosks has caused them to stop their deployment prematurely:

BT has halted the rollout of thousands of Internet kiosks after overestimating how much public demand there would be for the service.

At present there are around 1,300 Web kiosks installed around the UK at shopping centres, rail stations and airports. They allow users to surf the Web and send emails and text messages, as well as make phone calls.

In late 2001, BT said that 28,000 kiosks would be built, in partnership with Marconi, but the telco confirmed over the weekend that that no more would be installed.

"BT had planned a large scale rollout of public multimedia kiosks, with our supplier, which has been reduced due to performance. It is no surprise that this is a similar experience to other operators around the world," said the company in a statement, adding that it didn't plan to rip out any of the existing high-tech kiosks.

You can read all about it right here.

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