Earlier today, the CRTC issued a Public Notice, calling for comments on its “Fact-finding process on the role of payphones in the Canadian communications system.”
With this notice, the Commission initiates a proceeding to collect information on the current role that payphones play in the Canadian communications system, including the extent to which Canadians rely on payphones, and the effects, if any, that further payphone removals and possible rate increases may have on Canadians.
The timetable for the release of data from the CRTC’s fact-finding is expected to be around the middle of June, 2014, conveniently coinciding with The 2014 Canadian Telecom Summit.
I wonder if the CRTC should be undertaking an even broader examination of access to a broader range of communications services, including broadband internet service.
More than a year ago, I asked “Who uses payphones anymore?“:
You would think mobile devices should have killed off payphones by now. Those of us who have an alternative don’t go looking for a couple quarters to make a call from the shopping centre or the airport.
Most Canadians now have a mobile option, but 25% of households don’t.
That post attracted a number of comments that are worth a fresh examination.
But what about broadband internet services? Shouldn’t we be as concerned about ensuring broad access to current generation services as those services declining in utility?
In an economy increasingly dependent on digital literacy, should the CRTC be expanding the scope of this proceeding to include a broader range of communications services?