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Attention Drug Dealers

5:00 PM -- If you're a drug dealer in America's heartland, be aware that your incumbent phone carrier, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), plans to phase out all payphones in 2008. (See AT&T Ditches Payphones.) Aren't they the only ones who still use payphones these days?

The move isn't surprising. The phase-out only applies to AT&T's 13-state legacy footprint. They won't be doing it in the old BellSouth territory because, well, BellSouth already did that before it was acquired by Ma Bell. And I'm sure you all noticed that mobile phones have become a little popular over the past decade.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) says it has no plans yet to eliminate its own pay phones, because it is still a "cash generating business" for it. Verizon also uses its phone booths to plaster advertisements on the outside -- another cash cow (sorry, Hatteras). Plus New York does perhaps have a lot more drug dealers than AT&T's Midwest footprint. Verizon of course, had no comment on that demographic.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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