Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications
About CUT

The Campaign The People
  • Introduction
  • Mission Statement
  • Beginners' Guide
  • Terminology
  • The CUT FAQ
  • CUT and EU Campaigns
  • About Us
  • Meet the Committee
  • The CUT FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

    What is CUT?

    CUT is the Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications. It is an independent organisation set up by a group of telecommunications users who believe that customers in the UK should be offered a wider and fairer choice of tariffs and, in particular, unmetered local calls.

    How is CUT pronounced?

    As one word, not 'see-you-tee'. The correct abbreviation is as above, without full stops separating the letters.

    Who is CUT?

    CUT is made up of a group of Committee Members plus a body of Ordinary Members who have voting rights and are regularly consulted about the direction of the campaign.

    Is CUT affiliated to anyone?

    CUT is independent and is run as a voluntary organisation. It is not, nor ever has been, affiliated to any other company, organisation, charity or campaign. Although a major part of our fight is political, we are not aligned with any political party or persuasion.

    How is CUT funded?

    CUT is funded through annual membership fees. There is no funding from any other source.

    What is the money spent on?

    Campaigning and only campaigning as our Financial Summary makes clear. We will not produce CUT merchandise unless the members ask us to.

    What is the purpose of CUT?

    CUT's aim is to bring greater choice and fairer charging to the UK telecommunications market. The Mission Statement gives a formal statement of our aims.

    What do you mean by 'unmetered'?

    By 'unmetered' we mean telephone calls which are not billed by time. Very often people, including the telecommunications operators themselves, refer to 'free local calls'. We feel that 'free' is misleading and, in many ways, clouds the issue. See our explanation of this.

    Why are unmetered calls so important?

    We believe that the introduction of unmetered calls, as a first step, would greatly support development of the Internet industry in the UK; of course, the ideal solution in the long run is broadband access. At the moment metered calls, as offered by the majority of telecommunications operators, are holding back development of the Internet in this country. Issues, Mythbusters and Features explore these issues in detail.

    But surely the operators won't listen?

    We believe they will - we are not campaigning for something unattainable. New technologies will soon squeeze the telecommunications operators: in addition, the market goes where consumers lead it and, if there is a general realisation that current charging structures are unfair and a strong enough demand for unmetered local calls, operators will have to satisfy that demand. And look how attitudes have changed in a few months.

    What can I do to help?

    There are many things you can do to help. The basics are summarised here.

    Do I need to get permission to do things?

    No. Happy is the land that has no leaders, and we want people to go out and do things for themselves; that's what the Internet is all about, and there's plenty of material on this site to get you thinking. We ask, though, that you represent yourself as a member or supporter of CUT, not as an official representative or 'CUT' without any qualifications.

    Who designed this site?

    The site's appearance was designed by Richard Sliwa. This was based on the original design created by Martin Eager of Runic Design, which served us until September 1999. A lot of hard work, by Nick Mailer, has also gone into various 'engines' such as Perl scripts and the membership database. Of course, all this technical work would have come to naught without a profusion of content from various contributors.

    Who are Videotron?

    You may well ask this, as they are mentioned throughout the site. They were the UK arm of a Canadian cable company, merged into Cable and Wireless Communications in 1997. Former Videotron subscribers, including all the CUT committee members, still have unmetered local calls off-peak and at weekends, which they can and do use to access the Internet.

    Help! I'm drowning in jargon!

    The OFTEL Glossary throws you a lifebelt.

    Text by Alastair Scott

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