Why should BT pay for phone boxes that are never used ?

I am a strong supporter of maintaining rural services, even if this means that some things like buses, schools and other things vital to rural areas receive more subsidy that those in towns. However, I have sympathy with BT's wish to remove phone boxes that are not used for more then 12 months.

BT have found a number of phone boxes that have not been used for 12 months and as a plc, a company listed on the stock exchange and not a charity, they want to remove them to save their costs. I really cannot see what is wrong with this.

Of course if the local council is so upset they could pay the full cost of maintaining the box, but in a world where mobile phones are so cheap, are phone boxes soon to be relegated to items for a museum anyway ?


Sceptic said...

Maybe I'm an old sceptic but I'm deeply suspicious about BT's figures.

Why do they say that it costs them £1,000 a year to maintain phoneboxes that are never used? I suspect most of this cost is fixed cost of maintaining all of their callboxes, and they just divide that cost between the numbers of boxes existence - what would they actually *save* by removing these boxes?

If these boxes really are never used, that suggests to me one of 2 things:

a) they're in really rural places, so they need bugger all maintenance as there's no one around to vandalise them and there's no money to collect from them


b) they're already vandalised (or otherwise broken) and unprepaired, and that's why no one uses them - 'cos they can't!

Anonymous said...

Very sensible indeed. We cannot preserve the world in some vision of 1950's England and phone boxes are clearly not needed or required of they are not used for 12 months.

Tim said...

I have never seen why townies should subsidise rural services such as buses and post offices. We don't subsidise the cost of house insurance for people who live in high crime areas. What's the difference? BT should be able to close down any phone box it likes, as you say, the community can install one if it wants.

headless said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Norfolk Blogger said...

Back in the 1980's my father had responsibility for all phone boxes in Norfolk and beyond, and even then, before mobile phones, they made a massive loss on them. I wouldn't be so sceptical of their figures.

Anonymous said...

Where would I pee on the way home on Saturday night ...?