End of an Era, Frontier Removes all Pay Phones in NE CA and NV


It is the end of the era of pay phones in Lassen County and nationwide if you haven’t already figured that out. Throughout Lassen County, Frontier Communications has just begun to remove all of its operational pay phones. Over 75 are sprinkled throughout the county, and their removal has stirred a question of public safety among some.

Many of the old systems were located in remote areas where cell phones did not get service, and payphones were the only way to call for help in emergencies. Yet Frontier Communications Regional operations manager, Jeff MacDonnell, says the company considered that concern. Yet, after pulling call records, it had been over three years since even the most remote phone had been used. He said they had been called to take out all pay phones simply because they were not being used and were trickling away energy to sustain the dail tone.

MacDonnell did note that those in charge have told companies like Frontier to cut energy use where they can to stabilize the power grid, especially after years of heat waves causing multiple flex alerts and an initiative to go all-electric. Though unable to specify an exact amount of energy savings and cost savings to the company, the regional manager said he could imagine it would be very significant given nearly 300 payphones have been removed in Nevada alone, with hundreds more throughout California slated to go.

The old public phones will now turn to scrap, but in some places, you may still see a booth still standing, as several have been turned off but remain in place to remember a time of communication before cell phones.


Photo: Pay Phone Located at Jackson’s Service Center on Main street in Susanville before being completely removed.