Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Bell Payphones - show us more money

Documents filed with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on  January 17, 2012 seek to increase the maximum rate for Bell payphones, from 50 cents to $1 for cash and $2 for non-cash use, and the flexibility to apply a variety of rates capped at the new level. Telus says screw that, they are happy with their rates (not all payphones are Bell phones). In Toronto the phones are a big target for graffiti and various signs and stickers.
Anarchy sign about police domination

Bell's application notes that there is no profit in the phones and revenues cannot provide for maintenance or upgrades costs, and with reduced use due to cell phone competition many locations have been removed (CRTC says okay to remove as long as notice is given to a community before the last payphone is removed).

With 95% of payphone use paid by cash the planned 2012 introduction of multi-ply plated steel coins by the Royal Canadian Mint will require changes to the existing phones to allow the new coins to be accepted, changes expected to be phased over three years. In the application Bell noted that a considerable decrease in payphone use occurred with the increased cap of 50 cents from 25 cents and that further drops will happen with the new caps. They hope that the flexible rates will allow them to match fees with use to encourage profitability with optimal rates and slow the decommissioning of existing payphones.
Send a text with some phones and help for the hearing impaired
The Public Interest Advocacy Society has identified and asked for more time in the application to review the use of payphones by persons with low income.

"The Commission is in receipt of a letter dated 19 January 2012 from the Public Interest Advocacy Society and Canada Without Poverty (PIAC) regarding the Companies’ application. In its letter, PIAC stated that, among other things, it expected to introduce evidence of payphone use by the public, in particular those persons living on low income. However, PIAC stated that commissioning and compiling this information would take more time than is allotted by the intervention process. PIAC requested that the process be turned into a Notice of Consultation, with new timelines that include longer timeframes, in order to allow for adequate public participation with respect to this issue."
SDI Telecom payphone

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