The telephone company has been told to charge by the minute for information calls to 113. The service is expected to be cheaper for users, according to the regulating agency.
The service has been free because the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad failed to produce a telephone book for 2005. But the company, known as ICE, is being allowed to start charging again on Sept. 1 now that new books are being distributed and telephone users have the option of looking in the book or calling information. The current rate is only temporary because the company is going to present additional evidence about the cost of operators and seek an adjustment.
The previous rate was 28.8 colons no mater how long. Now the rate will be 4.1 colons per minute during peak hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 2 colons per minute from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
A colon is about two-tenths of one U.S. cent.