Eliminating Phonelessness in Canada: Possible Approaches

Author

Philippa Lawson

Organization

Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)

Published

2002

Summary

While Canada prides itself on a 98% household penetration rate of telephone service, closer examination reveals a persistent problem of phonelessness among lower income households. This problem needs to be addressed if Canada is to achieve its goal of universal service. Bill management tools and other market initiatives (such as prepaid local service) while helpful to some users, have failed to close the gap. Other approaches deserve examination. In the USA, under the Lifeline and Link-Up assistance programs, low income households are offered basic phone service at discount rates. Studies indicate that these programs are successful in increasing subscribership among the low income population. Canada should consider implementing a similar program.The second edition of this report includes updated statistics and more analysis of the issue.

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Contact information

Address
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
285 McLeod Street, Suite 200
Ottawa, ON   K2P 1A1
Telephone
(613) 562-4002
Fax
(613) 562-0007

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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