SPAIN’s government has decided to preserve the country’s traditional telephone booths for one more year, until December 31, 2019.
The government will maintain the booths despite most of them being vandalised and unused.
They will continue to be part of the universal telecommunications service, despite having been set to disappear yesterday, (January 1).
Previously, Spain’s ‘Partido Popular’ had granted operators an extension of one year that was supposed to expire yesterday.
However, ‘PSOE’ took pity on the booths and decided to postpone the withdrawal one more year to reportedly ‘make a more complete and comprehensive analysis’ on how to remove them from the universal telephone service.
According to competitors, the telephone booths are no longer being used and ‘there are no current market reasons to continue guaranteeing their provision as part of the universal service’.
The data collected by competitors shows that 88 per cent of Spaniards have never used a telephone booth and the cost to maintain them has been increasing, reaching €2.07 million in 2015.
As the booths will be maintained another year, Telefonica will have to continue providing the service and guide until the end of the year.
Telefonica reportedly loses approximately €5 million every year in order to keep the service alive.