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Wednesday, 15 March 2006 16:16

UK regulator lays down the law on payphones

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Telstra is planning to remove 5000 payphones amid uncertainty as to which are covered by the USO, but in the UK very definite rules have been set down to govern payphone removal.

UK regulator, Ofcom has completed its review of Universal Service Obligations (USO) setting out rules that BT (and former local monopoly Kingston Telecom) must follow before payphones can be removed.

Before they remove the last payphone from a location the carriers must publish their plans for consultation, and local bodies have the right of veto. The local veto will be available to unitary, metropolitan, district and equivalent councils and will apply to the last phone box within a 400 metre area. BT and Kingston will have more freedom to use cashless phone boxes where boxes are subject to repeated vandalism or are needed primarily for emergency use.



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