public telephone boxes (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
April 4, 2001
Question By: 
Toby Harris
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


I understand that pay phones have suffered a 37% fall in revenue in the past two years, perhaps because of the growth of mobile phones; but there are still a significant proportion of the population - around 5% - who do not have access to basic telephony services. Given that BT are by law forbidden to subsidise their pay phones, does the Mayor support paid advertising on the side panels of phone boxes to ensure that the network of pay phones is maintained?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for public telephone boxes (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for public telephone boxes (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

If the only way of keeping the pay phones in position is to have the advertising to supplement their revenue, that would be better than not having them at all. I would prefer not to have it, but if that is the only way of keeping them, then pragmatically one would go for that.

Many fairly low-income families and individuals have a mobile phone and mainly use it to receive incoming calls; because of the price, they seldom use it for outgoing calls. If they do not have a landline at home, they will be dependent for the outgoing calls on access to a public phone booth.