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Jersey residents can now call locally for free from public phone boxes

Friday, April 10th 2015 by Dean Reilly

Residents of Jersey can now make free phone calls to local landline numbers when using public payphones, it has been announced.

Telecoms company JT Global revealed that calls to local landline numbers starting with 01534 will be free of charge from today.

The company made the move to remind residents of the role that phone boxes still provide for the local community.

The approximately 90,000 residents on the island have access to 104 public phone boxes around Jersey, including key locations like the Ports of Jersey and Jersey General Hospital.

Chief relationship officer at JT, Tim Ringsdore said: “We are aware of the decline globally in phone box usage and while it means high ongoing maintenance costs, we believe there is still a need within our community to provide payphone services.

“To recognise this important role we have decided to provide free local landline calls from all our public phone boxes.”

Mr Ringsdore acknowledged that there had been a steady decline in the usage of payphones in Jersey over the last decade, primarily due to rising levels of mobile phone ownership and network coverage.

'Day-to-day communication'

Yet this didn’t mean that there was no role left for phone boxes to play, he said.

“From our research and listening to customers throughout the community, we recognise phone boxes are still used and we hope by offering local calls for free we are helping people who rely upon them for day-to-day communication and to the wider community.

“Phone boxes can still play a very important role in an emergency or, for example, when someone loses their mobile phone, or when they are without credit or battery life on their mobile.

“By providing these free calls we can help ensure that those people, particularly the young, or those without a mobile phone, that phone boxes are there to be used and we hope that by offering free local calls people will once again recognise the important role they play in our community.”

57% of the phone boxes found on the island are located in the capital of St Helier.

JT spend over £100,000 per year providing and maintaining the phone boxes for residents and visitors.

According to BT, around two million calls a day were made from British phone boxes at the peak of their popularity, but the figure has since dwindled to around 60,000.

Similarly, the number of payphones across the country has also fallen from a peak of 92,000 in 2002 to just 51,000 on the street with a further 11,000 on private sites like railway stations, airports and shopping centres.

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