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No, pay phones are not extinct. Here's how many still exist today.



Contrary to popular belief, pay phones are still around whether you notice them or not.

In 1999, there were more than 2 million phone booths across the country. Today, there are 100,000 booths left, according to a new CNNMoney report.

The FCC reports about a fifth of America's remaining pay phones are in New York. A comprehensive list of the city's public pay telephone locations can be found here.

It's no surprise cell phones have played a major role in the pay phone's demise, with 95% of Americans owning a cell phone of some kind, according to Pew Research Center.

Major carriers like Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T have all sold their pay phones to independent providers who have found a steady business in the disappearing industry.

In 2015, pay phone providers reported making $286 million in revenue, according to the most recent FCC report.

"Every time there's a disaster our phone use goes through the roof. The pay phone system stays intact for the toughest part of the disaster while the cell networks go down."
Tom Keane, President of Pacific Telemanagement Services to CNNMoney

One provider told CNNMoney his most profitable pay phones are ones located in hospitals and along the border where cell coverage is weak.

Places that don't have cell phones or landline coverage are also profitable.

Nevertheless, pay phones still face an ongoing challenge to stay relevant in a technologically advanced society.

You can read the full CNNMoney report here.

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