Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications

  • Is this site really necessary?
  • Don't 'free' ISPs kill your argument?
  • Unmetered local calls will never happen
  • But electricity and gas are metered
  • The problem is the cost of PCs
  • The network can't cope!
  • Dial 999 for unmetered
  • Metered local call charges are reasonable
  • Why should I pay for someone else's calls?
  • Computer gamers will cause trouble
  • ISP charges would replace phone charges
  • An American Mythbuster
  • Unmetered calls would trouble ISPs
  • People on low incomes would be affected
  • Unmetered calls would favour the South-East
  • Don't 'free' ISPs kill your argument?

    For the 'free ISP' (zero ISP cost, metered telephone charges), not at all because

    • Access costs are still open-ended - metering remains;

    • Access during the day from home is still prohibitively expensive, as approximately 3p per minute or £2 per hour won't find many takers;

    • Access via a disguised national call (which is what a 'local-type' or 'non-geographic' call usually is) is neither a technically efficient use of the telephone network nor anything more than an accounting trick;

    • The ISP cost for existing ISPs (about £10), for any realistic amount of Internet usage, is small compared to the call cost.

    The last point needs a little bit of elaboration. We still see surveys which give the impression that eight or 10 hours a month is considered heavy usage; there is frequently a row of radio buttons with categories like '0-2', '2-6', '6-10' and '10+'. You won't get much meaningful work done in ten hours a month! The Irish proposal of one hundred hours as the unit of measurement is more realistic.

    Now there are 'freer than free' ISPs (no ISP cost, unmetered telephone charges) such as or These are, of course, a huge improvement on 'free' ISPs and go some way to meeting our aims.

    However, we now have a freak show rather than a peep show. 'Freer than free' ISPs are generally hedged with constraints such as:

    • lack of choice (there are only currently a few such ISPs);
    • services are restricted to a BT line;
    • that line may have to be signed over to a reseller;
    • advertising and other promotional material is pushed;
    • telephone support is expensive and necessary;
    • daytime access is still expensive;
    • subscriber numbers are capped
    • there are significant user problems.
    And, even with those problems sorted out, many other problems remain with telecommunications in this country.

    We believe that unmetered access will not feel sound until those who run your telephone line offer unmetered access, thus giving you a free choice of ISP.

    [ Home ] [ About ] [ Get Involved ] [ Issues ] [ Mythbusters ] [ Features ]
    [ Solutions ] [ News ] [ Press ] [ Diary ] [ Discussion ] [ Reference ]
    [ Members ] [ Contact ] [ Site Map ] [ Search ] [ Links ]

    Site design by Richard Sliwa
    based on an original concept by Runic Design.
    © CUT 1999.