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  • From the MD of COLT

    The Financial Mail on Sunday interviewed Malcolm Matson, the MD of Colt Telecom Group, in July 1998. The complete article is online, but what he said is so remarkable it deserves a page to itself here.

    [Users] are paying for nearly a century of a global cartel of government- sustained monopolies.

    Ninety-nine per cent of the cost of telecommunications is up-front investment. The cost of running a network is miniscule, and is even less with optical fibre.

    All the telephone companies are desperately trying to find ways to slow down price cuts.

    And, as a paraphrase:

    The true cost of connecting a call remains a mystery and Matson believes that hidden in this information vacuum there is evidence that domestic customers should have free calls and pay through flat-rate line rental charges.

    Then an analyst from Magenta Systems backs him up:

    Matson is right. The cost of equipment is an investment but the ongoing costs are lower than they used to be. In the old days one wire was needed to carry each call. Now millions go through one fibre optic. No one outside the companies knows the real costs.

    It's not what's said, but who says it!

    Text by Alastair Scott

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