CRTC:  Are Payphones Still Useful?The following message was received from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) encouraging Canadians to participate in its consultations respecting payphones:

“As you may be aware, the CRTC recently 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. As a follow-up to that decision, a consultation was announced which has the goal of providing the Commission with a clearer picture of how payphones are being used and by whom. This will help the Commission assess how possible rate increases and the removal of payphones may affect Canadians, and whether any regulatory action is necessary. 

Though the CRTC recognizes that the telecommunications industry has changed substantially in recent years as the majority of Canadians have adopted wireless services, the availability of wireless services is not universal and it would appear that there may still be a need for payphones.

The CRTC is inviting Canadians to share their views on the role of payphones in the Canadian communication system through a fact-finding process. The CRTC is also seeking comments on whether it would be appropriate to prevent 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.”

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 e-mail, mail, fax or completion of an on-line form.  Please click here to view the CRTC Facts Sheet and comment submission information. 

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