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Local Pay Phone Call Increases to
35 Cents in Greenwich and Byram,
Price Reflects Competitive Market Conditions
November 4, 1998
NEW YORK - The price of a local call from a Bell Atlantic pay phone in
Greenwich and Byram, Conn., will increase 10 cents to 35 cents.
The process of adjusting each Bell Atlantic pay telephone to charge the
new rate begins tomorrow and will be completed shortly.
The price of local pay phone calls was deregulated nationwide last
October by the Federal Communications Commission, as mandated by the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. Since then, most regional Bell
companies and major independent pay phone service providers across the
country have adopted 35 cents as the fair market price of a local call.
After studying the telecommunications market in 1996, Congress said the
pay telephone business is competitive, ordered it deregulated and required
the elimination of all subsidies of pay phone service from other telephone
company rates. 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 Telecommunications Act.
"We need to respond to market conditions to provide our customers with
the best, most convenient service possible," said Lorraine Chickering,
president - Bell Atlantic Public Communications. "We compete with
hundreds of providers for sites where customers need pay phones. We
must pay competitive commissions to property owners so we can install
our pay phones on their property, whether they are fast food outlets, gas
stations, major airports or municipalities.
"The competitive price that has emerged nationwide is 35 cents for a local
call, and according to our customers in other markets, the local call is still
a great value at 35 cents," Chickering said. "Letting the market establish
fair prices will promote the availability of pay phones, whether Bell
Atlantic's or a competitor's.
Over the last year, Bell Atlantic set the pay phone rate at 35 cents in most
of the states it serves along the East Coast. Coin phone price increases will
be considered in other markets, as conditions warrant.