CRTC ensures Canadians are informed of long-distance payphone charges

News Release

December 10, 2015 – Ottawa–Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced new measures to ensure Canadians are properly informed about the costs of making certain long-distance calls over a payphone.

The CRTC will now require that Canadians be provided with detailed information on the cost of making long-distance calls using a credit card or other forms of non-cash payment. Today’s decision will enable Canadians to make informed choices about the costs of these calls and thus avoid bill shock. Payphone providers must inform the CRTC on how they intend to inform consumers.

Large telephone companies will also now have to notify the community before removing the last payphone in municipalities and First Nation communities, as well as for payphones in areas where no wireless service is available. Today’s decision will empower Canadians to voice their concerns to their local authorities if such a payphone is scheduled for removal.

Quick Facts

  • In February 2015, the CRTC released a report entitled “Results of the fact-finding process on the role of payphones in the Canadian communications system.”
  • According to the “Results of the fact-finding process on the role of payphones in the Canadian communications system”, 50% of Canadians reported having used a payphone on occasion in 2004. Today, 32% of Canadians indicated that they had used a payphone at least once per year.
  • Payphones still play an important role in the Canadian communication system, even though their use is decreasing.

Quote

“Even though their usage has declined over the past decade, payphones are still an important resource for many people especially in areas where no wireless service is available. We expect that the new requirements will empower Canadians in their use of payphones in communities across Canada, and local authorities by giving them an opportunity to respond to the needs of their community members.”

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC

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