CRTC says payphones are ‘still an important resource for many people’ as usage declines

A report issued by the CRTC in February stated “the use of payphones by Canadians is decreasing steadily.” Today, the CRTC confirmed the continuous decline with only 32 percent of Canadians indicating they had used a payphone at least once per year. In 2004 in a similar survey 50 percent of Canadians said they still use payphones.

Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the CRTC, said, “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.”

There is no indication from the CRTC as to how many payphones are still active in Canada, but before the last payphone is removed from a municipality, the telco must inform the community and offer solutions.

One of the main reasons for the rapid decline is the adoption of mobile phones. The most recent statistics from the CRTC’s Communications Monitoring Report reveal there are over 28.8 million wireless subscribers in Canada.

[source] CRTC [/source]