CRTC denies payphone rate increase and invites comments on the use of payphones in Canada
OTTAWA-GATINEAU, QC, July 16, 2013 /CNW/ – Today, the Canadian
Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) denied an
application by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant Regional Communications and
Télébec to increase local payphone rates up to $1 for cash calls and up
to $2 for calls charged to a credit card or other forms of payment.
The Bell companies had indicated that if payphone rates were permitted
to increase, revenues would likely improve, which would slow the rate
at which payphones are being removed. The CRTC recognizes that the
telecommunications industry has changed substantially in recent years
as the majority of Canadians have adopted wireless services. At the
same time, the number of payphones operated by the telephone companies
has declined along with public demand for those services.
“This trend is likely to continue regardless of the rate charged for
payphone services, and highlights the need to reassess the role of
payphones,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC.
Consultation on payphones
In a consultation launched today, the CRTC is inviting Canadians to
share their views on the role of payphones in the Canadian
communication system. The CRTC is also seeking comments on whether it
would be appropriate to prohibit telephone companies from removing the
last payphone in a community until the conclusion of this fact-finding
process and, if required, any related follow-up process.
“This consultation will give us a clearer picture of how payphones are
being used and by whom,” said Mr. Blais. “It will also help us assess
how possible rate increases and the removal of payphones may affect
Canadians, and whether any regulatory action is necessary.”
Comments on the removal of the last payphone in a community are due
August 13, 2013 while those for the fact-finding process are due
October 22, 2013. The CRTC encourages Canadians to participate by
submitting their comments by:
-- filling out the online form -- writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2 -- sending a fax at 819-994-0218
The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission