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Public pay phones (Consultation report and decision)15.07.2004 | Final decision
By determination of 15 July 2004, the consultation report on public payphone service was approved. This consultation was launched in May 2004 pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 90 of Law n.º 5/2004, of 10 February. Simultaneously, once PT Comunicações (PTC) was heard under the terms of article 100 and subsequent of the Administrative Procedure Code, as well as the remaining interested entities in accordance with article 8 of said Law n.º 5/5004, the procedures to be complied with by PTC in its public payphone offer were approved, as the provider of universal telephone service at a fixed location, in order to ensure meeting the population needs, including disabled end users, complying with geographic spread, population density and public utility criteria.
Decision on the Public Pay Phone Service, pursuant to paragraph 1 of article 90 of Law no. 5/2004
1. In compliance with the provision of article 90 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February1http://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=55129, it is incumbent upon the universal service provider to install and operate public pay phones for the access to the Fixed Telephone Service (FTS), in sufficient number so as to meet the needs of populations, including disabled end-users, fulfilling geographic dispersion, density of population and public utility criteria.
2.Pursuant to the mentioned article, it is incumbent upon the National Regulatory Authority to define the obligations applicable as regards the provision of public pay telephones, which shall take into account the possible availability of facilities or comparable services and meet the needs of end-users in terms of the geographical dispersion, the density of population and the quality of services.
3. Under the former regulatory framework, ICP - ANACOM launched a public consultation on the subject, aiming at the identification of opinions and concerns of citizens and of interested entities regarding the provision of public pay phones in the scope of the telecommunications universal service, and, at the same time, at enabling a more informed decision as regards the application of geographic dispersion, density of population and public utility criteria to public pay phone parks.
4. Following the mentioned public consultation, ICP - ANACOM took the view, on 04/04/2002, that the installation and operation of public pay phones for the provision of a FTS, in terms of the universal service, was valid in a context of full liberalization, and, having regard to the regulatory framework, to the development experienced by the public pay phones service both at national and Community level, and to the general interests of the population, that Authority thus proposed to establish transparent, proportional and balanced criteria for the provision of public pay phones as far as the universal service is concerned.
5. ICP - ANACOM has subsequently monitored the development of public pay phones dispersion, and based on data from the universal service provider and from the INE, has assessed:
5.1 The density of public pay phones, the national average of which, in population terms and in geographic terms, at the end of 2003, stood at (a) around four public pay phones per 1000 residents and (b) around forty-five public pay phones per 100 km2.
5.2 That municipalities located in urban and coastal areas, which coincide with the more dynamic regions, economically speaking, present as a rule a higher density of public pay phones per 100 km2 than regions of a peripheral nature. However, the net uninstallation of the public pay phone park (difference between the number of new installations and the number of dismantlements) has more impact in urban and coastal areas than in the peripheral areas.
5.3 That there are, in average: (a) 3,6 public pay phones per hospital; (b) 0,3 public pay phones per health centre; (c) 0,07 public pay phones per school; (d) 2,5 public pay phones per underground station; (e) 14,9 public pay phones per airport; (f) 5.521.000 passengers transported every year per each public pay phone in bus terminals and (g) 558.528 passengers transported every year per each public pay phone in rail terminals.
6. Therefore, considering:
(a) That it is incumbent upon ICP - ANACOM, pursuant to article 90 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, to define, following the consultation under article 8 of that statutory instrument, the obligations of universal service providers applicable as to the provision of public pay telephones, in order to ensure that the reasonable needs of populations are met, including those of disabled end-users;
(b) That the obligations referred to in the preceding point shall take into account, pursuant to paragraph 2 of article 90 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, the possible availability of facilities or comparable services and shall meet the needs of end-users in terms of the geographical dispersion, the density of population and the quality of services, including in particular the determination of different payment modalities;
(c) That paragraph 3 of article 90 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, establishes that public pay telephones provided by universal service providers shall enable:
(i) The access, free of charge, to the different emergency systems, using the single European emergency call number “112” and other emergency and helpline numbers defined in the National Numbering Plan, without the use of coins, cards or other means of payment;
(ii) The access to the comprehensive directory enquiry services on the terms defined in point c) of paragraph 1 of article 89 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February;
(d) That pursuant to paragraph 4 of article 90 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, pre-payment telephone cards for the access to publicly available telephone services by means of public pay telephones operated by universal service providers shall be of one type only, so that the use thereof is made viable on any public pay telephone operated by those providers;
(e) That universal service providers shall comply with the technical rules of access of urban buildings, comprised in a separate statutory instrument, in order to ensure access to the service on the part of disabled end-users, pursuant to paragraph 5 of article 90 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February;
(f) The density of public pay phones at the end of 2003, both in population terms and in geographic terms;
(g) The urban and coastal predominance of the higher municipal values of public pay phones per 100 km2, against the regions of a peripheral nature, which tendentiously present lower values as regards the density of public pay phones per 100 km2;
(h) That the public pay phone park has been increasingly reduced since the year 2000, and currently presents levels close to those of 1998, and, according to additional information to the development plan made available by the universal service provider, that such levels are expected to remain constant for the period from 2004 to 2006;
(i) That the average use of each public pay phone, assessed in terms of traffic between 1998 and 2003, has decreased, which may indicate that the use of public pay phones is becoming less important in view of the wide availability of comparable services, without prejudice to being a service with special relevance for populations temporarily apart from their residence (namely tourists and workers) as well as for citizens with less income, lower level of education or of a more advanced age band;
(j) That it is necessary to take precautions so that the possible withdrawal of public pay phones is accomplished without jeopardizing the fulfilment of the real needs of users, not only in global terms, but also in the different geographical areas of the universal service provision;
(k) That the current dispersion of public pay phones in locations of special social interest, such as health centres and hospitals, educational establishments, underground stations, airports, bus and rail terminals, is acceptable;
(l) That the disclosure, on the part of the universal service provider, of the procedure concerning the devolution of small change in public pay phones that accept coins as means of payment, shall be governed by parameters of clarity, transparency and accessibility of end-users;
(m) That the mobile land service and the fixed telephone service are services that enable some degree of comparison with the public pay phone service, notwithstanding the fact that such services do not replace the public pay phone service nor replace each other (both on the provision side and on the demand side)2http://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=55130;
(n) The current level of penetration3http://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=55131 of the fixed telephone service, which may be deemed as reasonable, as well as the expected evolution of this service, which does not seem to indicate very significant changes, in the short term;
(o) The current level of penetration of the mobile land service4http://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=55132, which is one of the most advanced at European level, and which may benefit from the next introduction of mobile technologies of the 3rd generation 5http://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=55133;
(p) The price level of the fixed telephone service6http://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=55134 and of the mobile land service, which may be favourably compared to the average of the European Union and have not increased, in real terms;
(q) That ICP - ANACOM is preparing specific regulation on the quality of service, which shall comprise, namely, quality of service parameters for public pay phones determined in the annex to Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, and may establish performance objectives applicable to the universal service obligations;
(r) That the future installation of public pay phones, according to the universal service provider, ensures that such phones are adapted to the needs of users with special needs;
(s) That the concessionaire has traditionally operated public pay phones at a loss-making level, although the recent tendency points towards the decrease of that deficit;
(t) That PT Comunicações, S.A. (PTC) is currently the provider of the universal service;
(u) That ICP - ANACOM may revise the present decision, having regard to the evolution of user needs, to the dynamic of comparable services and to the results of the strategy concerning the provision of public pay phone services which are rendered in concrete by the universal service provider;
7. The Board of Directors of ICP - ANACOM, pursuant to article 90 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, in the meeting held on 15/07/04, having heard PTC under the terms of article 100 et seq. of the Code of Administrative Procedure, and the remaining interested entities, in compliance with the provision of article 8 of Law no. 5/2004 and with the consultation procedure of ICP - ANACOM approved by determination of 12/02/04:
(a) That PTC is bound to submit, every three months, up to the end of the month following the trimester it concerns, statistic information regarding the following particulars:
(i) Public pay phones installed in places of a special social interest, such as hospitals, health centres, educational establishments, airports, prisons, bus and rail terminals, underground stations, courts of justice, hotels, hostels and lodges;
(ii) Public pay phone park (per municipality)7http://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=55135, identifying (with the same breakdown level) the number of new installations and withdrawals occurred in the course of the respective trimester;
(b) That PTC publishes every year and with the same degree of prominence:
(i) A declaration on the development strategy for the public pay phone park, specifying, for each district, the development objectives for the public pay phone park, also including broken-down information on the accepted means of payment and, where applicable, on the adopted procedures for the devolution of small change, functionalities for users with special needs and further features of the referred public pay phone park;
(ii) A detailed report describing how the outlined objectives were rendered concrete for the year to which they correspond and, where deviations are found, quantifying such deviations, presenting the justifications as well as remedial action thereto.
(c) That, where a new public pay phone is installed, PTC sets off the installation in terms of universal access:
(i) By promoting the compatibility with technical standards on access of urban buildings, in order to ensure, namely, the access to the service on the part of disabled end-users;
(ii) And dynamises the implementation of facilities adapted for users with special needs;
(d) That, where PTC intends to withdraw public pay phones, it shall display a visible notice regarding such withdrawal, at the public pay phones to be withdrawn or, where this is not possible, at a location close thereto, and at the least one month ahead of the date of withdrawal;
(e)That PTC shall ensure that the pre-payment telephone cards for the access to publicly available telephone services by means of public pay telephones operated by that provider are of one type only, so that the use thereof is made viable on any public pay telephone operated by that provider;
(f) That PTC shall ensure that at all public pay phones, or where this is not possible, at locations close thereto, information is disclosed on the accepted means of payment and, where applicable, on the adopted procedure concerning the devolution of small change;
(g) That PTC shall ensure that public pay telephones operated by that provider shall enable the access, free of charge, to the different emergency systems, through the single European emergency call number “112” or other emergency and helpline numbers defined in the National Numbering Plan, without the use of coins, cards or other means of payment and that enable the access to the comprehensive directory enquiry services on the terms defined in point c) of paragraph 1 of article 89 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February;
7.2 Recommends that prior to possible action that may result from the withdrawal of all public pay phones installed at a given location, PTC hears the users who are potentially affected, consulting for this purpose, namely, the respective local authorities or, where a location of a special social interest is concerned, the respective responsible entities.
7 Identifying in each municipality the park in locations with less than 1000 residents, between1000 and 10000 residents and with more than 10000 residents.
Consultation report (This information is available in portuguese)
Contributions from interested partieshttp://www.anacom.pt/template12.jsp?categoryId=120620 (This information is available in portuguese)
ANACOM Conference 2013 - Financing the future, 01.07.2013
World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15), Geneva, 2-27.11.2015
Positions, clarifications and statements issued by ANACOM between 2004 and 2013
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