Telephone Booths In Spain Are No Longer Considered An Essential Service And Will Be Scrapped By The End Of The Year.
WITH THE PUBLIC on average making one call per week and usage that is dropping year by year, the 14,824 telephone booths that are stationed throughout Spain will cease to be a mandatory universal service after this of summer- just seven years before reaching their first centenary, which would have been in 2028.
The new state Telecommunications Law, up for review between September or October, will decide if both phone booths and directories should still be considered as a mandatory universal service. It is understood that it is a foregone conclusion that although they will remain in operation until December 31, after which they will be scrapped and taken offline.
Telefónica, Spain’s largest telecoms operator, is obliged to maintain this service after a tender put out by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, was not contested by any other operator.
The last contract was awarded two years ago, in December 2019, and will expire on December 31, 2021, and is not expected to be renewed.
Telefónica does not disclose its plans to dismantle the cabins, although it reminds EFE of a pilot project that it is carrying out in Andalusia, where these structures are used as charging points or tourist information points. At the moment, he does not reveal if this will be his future.
According to data provided by Telefónica, in Spain, at the end of 2020, there were 14,824 phone booths, which recorded an average of 0.17 calls per day, which means an average one weekly call per inhabitant- making the service financially unviable.
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