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Death of the pay phone?

There is a great article in the Financial Post today about the payphones in Canada. Basically the story is this:

“If you haven’t got a pay phone, you’ve got to assume everyone has a cellphone in their pocket,” Mr. Grant of the Seboard Group states. 60% of Canadians currently own a cell phone and only about 150,000 payphones remain. Bell & Telus are the last contenders to hold on and will shrink the number 3% a a year.

In June, the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission) increased the maximum price for a local call from 25 cents to 50 cents. The only player to take advantage of this is Bell Canada – increasing the rates in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Telus kept their standard rates of 25 cents in BC and 35 cents in Alberta.

I believe payphones will be with us for a long time and also believe they are needed in emergencies for those who do not have access to a cell phone, or, for when your mobile phone battery dies. If, and when, the payphone disappears a great idea is to install “stand alone” phones in major areas where there is a direct dial to Hospitals, Police, Operators (if they exist), Taxi, etc…

The point is… When was the last time you used a payphone?

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