Costa Rica’s Telecommunications Superintendency (SUTEL) on Wednesday will begin studying a proposed rate increase for landline-to-landline telephone calls that would almost double current rates.
If approved, the base rate for landline service would increase by 80 percent over current rates. Basic monthly charges would increase from ₡1,850 to ₡3,392 ($ 3.70 to $ 6.70). Currently basic monthly rates are calculated for 1,650 minutes.
SUTEL proposed the new rates after rejecting an even higher hike request filed by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute.
SUTEL also is proposing a 90 percent increase in rates charged for additional minutes. Currently each additional minute costs ₡4; that would increase to ₡7.80 if the proposal is approved.
The rate hike also would apply to companies offering IP telephone services in Costa Rica.
However, calls made from landlines to cellphones would be cheaper. SUTEL proposed decreasing landline-to-cellphone calls from ₡30 per minute to ₡21.
A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Public Services Regulatory Authority auditorium, where users can voice opinions to SUTEL officials. That hearing can be followed via video conference in court rooms in all provinces.
SUTEL will have up to a month to set the rates. According to agency data, landline rates have not changed in the past nine years.