Bell Aliant, the telecom giant’s Atlantic Canada division, has doubled the cost of pay phones in all of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces — New Brunswick, Newfound and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island — as of Monday, moving the region’s pricing in line with the rest of Canada.
The jump from $0.25 to $0.50 is the first pay phone increase in Atlantic Canada in more than 20 years, a Bell Aliant spokesperson told the Canadian Press. Every other region in Canada has been paying $0.50 cents since 2009.
In the CRTC’s recent 2017 communications monitoring report, the number of pay phones in Canada reportedly dropped nearly 40 percent in the last four years, down from 94,000 phones in 2012, to 57,000 back in 2016.
National pay phone revenue has also plummeted by 65 percent, bringing in $22.2 million in 2016, which is a significant decrease from the $64 million earned back in 2012.
In May 2018, Canada’s telecom regulator ruled payphones are not essential, hammering yet another nail in the coffin for the pay-per-use service.
Bell says it continues to operate 50,0000 pay phones across seven Canadian provinces.