Bell Atlantic Raising Price of Local
Pay Phone Call to 35 Cents in Vermont
Price Reflects Competitive Market Conditions
November 12, 1997
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The price of a five minute local call
from a Bell Atlantic pay phone in Vermont, first set at a
dime in 1955, will increase to 35 cents from 10 cents, the
company announced today. The five cent rate for additional
three-minute call increments will not change.
The process of adjusting each Bell Atlantic pay telephone
to the new rate will begin November 19 and will take a few
months to complete.
Under FCC rules written to implement the 1996
Telecommunications Act, the price of local calls was
deregulated on October 7 and since then, all major
independent pay phone providers, as well as GTE, BellSouth,
Southwestern Bell and Pacific Telesis have begun raising
rates to 35 cents.
"We recognize that a 25-cent increase is a large jump," said
Louise McCarren, president and CEO, Bell Atlantic-Vermont.
"That's because the 10-cent rate has been artificially low
in Vermont for many years. However, letting prices go to a
market level that is fair should maintain the availability
of pay phones because the price will support the service."
"Like any competitive business, we need to respond to market
conditions," said Lorraine Chickering, president-Bell Atlantic
"We compete with other providers for the sites where
customers need pay phones," Chickering said. "We must pay
competitive commissions to property owners to place our
phones in their space, whether they are fast food outlets,
gas stations, major airports, or cities responsible for
"We also must charge competitive prices to the users of our
pay phones, and the competitive price that is emerging is
35 cents for a local call," she said.
After studying the telecommunications market, Congress
last year confirmed that the pay phone business is
competitive, ordered it deregulated, and required that
all direct and indirect subsidies of the service be
eliminated. The goal of Congress was "to promote
competition...and the widespread deployment of pay
phone services to the benefit of the general public,"
according to the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
FCC rules implementing the Act, eliminating subsidies
and deregulating prices, took effect in April and October.
Bell Atlantic also is raising the price of a local call
to 35 cents in West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, D.C.,
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New
Hampshire. Coin phone price increases will be considered
in other markets as conditions warrant.
The new Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell
Atlantic and NYNEX -- is at the forefront of the new
communications, information and entertainment industry.
With 40 million telephone access lines and 5.8 million
wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies
are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and
data services, market leaders in wireless services and
the world's largest publishers of directory information.
Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets,
with operations and investments in 21 countries.