Put your money where your mouth is: Bell Aliant is doubling payphone prices

Bell Aliant is doubling the cost for pay phones in all four Atlantic provinces on Monday, placing the region in line with the rest of the country.

Company spokeswoman Isabelle Boulet says in an email that the change — from 25 cents to 50 cents — is the first pay phone price increase in Atlantic Canada in more than 20 years, and that all other regions in the country have been paying the higher price since 2009.

She says Bell will ensure payphones will remain in high traffic areas like malls, airports, transportation hubs and hospitals, despite the steady decline of the increasingly-obsolete equipment.

According to the 2017 Communications Monitoring Report from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the number of pay phones in Canada dropped by nearly 40 per cent in four years — from nearly 94,000 phones in 2012 to about 57,000 in 2016.

Meanwhile, national pay phone revenues have plummeted by 65 per cent: they brought in $22.2 million in 2016, a far cry from the $64 million they earned in 2012.

While they don’t have regional figures, Bell says they operate around 50,000 payphones across seven provinces.

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