BT’s Internet payphone
The Fat Badgers are pleased to be associated with BT's new Internet payphones.
We were chosen as the first pub
website to appear on the new 'Multiphone'.
Multiphone is a new style telephone box offering Internet access and is making its debut at airports, motorway services, and railway stations across the UK.
Developed by BT, it offers round the clock, email and web browsing. In the next
couple of years, thousands of Mutliphones will be installed around the UK.
The phones operate using cash, BT Phonecard or credit card
and are full of information services – such as news, sport and travel so when you’re travelling you might see what’s on, check cinema times or book
accommodation and most importantly - find a good pub to go to .
Those using web-based email – such as the free Talk 21 or Hotmail services can check their messages or drop a note to people who don’t answer the phone. Those using POP, a system that allows remote email pick-up, you’ll be able to catch up on ‘life’, even away from base.
Designed to survive unsupervised situations, the Multiphone is also a cool piece of technology. Developed in conjunction with King Products of Canada, the software runs on the reputedly stabile QNX operating system used by the military and nuclear power industries. The connection to the Internet is through an ISDN2 line to a
BT service that also identifies unseemly Web sites and blocks them out. The screen is tempered glass, of the kind used in car windows and withstands grease, dirt and much abuse. It is claimed to be shatterproof and more than able to withstand a seriously good thwack with the handset.
The Multiphone uses a touch screen which displays a phone pad, keyboard or web browser as its use determines. The screen has an all-glass sensor with a film of conducting material – a finger touch causes ‘capacitive coupling’, drawing a current the size of which tells its location on the screen. Unlike some touch screens, it responds within a few milliseconds of a finger dab.
BT’s phone box venture happens at a time of massively increasing computers with Internet access in homes and offices. Surprisingly, not even that and the mobile phone have been able to cause serious damage to their payphone business. As a measure of this apparent move against a tide, kiosks have nearly doubled in number since
BT was privatised and a new railway payphone business was only last year set up in Holland. Tourists, flat batteries and no-signal zones keep the business buoyant – apparently so does the need to report a lost mobile phone.
Further developments due to appear include the addition of further information services, a printer and video camera. The services might include local street guides, route planners and free directory enquiries and will link up with local businesses keen to attract custom.
Fitting a camera on-board offers scope for fun - you could take a photograph to email to a friend and there’s talk about offering video-email or videophone services.
Here then is another step towards the Governments plan to give everyone access
to the Internet. The Fat Badgers site has been chosen for our useful information
and friendly feel and not because we are a multi national company who are
looking for financial gain.
We will remain as independent
as ever and BT will have no influence in the
decision as to which inns appear on the Fat Badgers guide - Employees and
Directors of BT will however be allowed to
nominate their favourite inns along with everyone else using the 'Suggest
an Inn' form as we are sure that they are just as keen to find a good pub as
For further information on the Multiphone take a look at the BT
website : www.bt.com and for Web based email
try: BT Talk 21 www.talk21.com
or MSN Hotmail www.hotmail.com