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
  • Unmetered local calls will never happen

    They will happen. We don't know the timescale, but it may be surprisingly short and they are inevitable.

    The cost of providing all types of telecommunications is decreasing by spectacular amounts year on year; even Graham M Wallace, former CE of Cable and Wireless Communications, said some time ago that the reduction was roughly 20% each year for his company.

    And these cost reductions will be passed on with grinding of teeth; you can't defy gravity. A quote from a Daily Mail article (11 February 1999):

    A BT source says Chief Executive Sir Peter Bonfield accepts daytime phone costs will fall to 1p per minute after 18 months, but will resist cuts all the way. By the time prices fall, US businesses will be ready and waiting to dominate the UK market. Britain's high pricing will even leave its online businesses vulnerable to European incursions.
    There will come a certain point - we may already be past it - where the cost of billing local calls and collecting the revenue becomes more than the cost of providing them; everyone agrees, including BT off-the-record, that the marginal cost of local calls is miniscule.

    So, when the cost of collection becomes more than the cost of provision, the cost of collection has to be lowered.

    And, to do this, what would be easier than simplifying metered charges to unmetered? Away with complex billing systems, the need to develop, maintain and verify them, reams of reams of paper and ink, excess postage and the risk of making mistakes. We can only guess at the cost of billing every single call from a heavy user.

    This seems a trivial argument, but it's deceptively powerful; our American friends who, unlike us, have access to real costs, say that it is one of the strongest arguments for unmetered local calls. And national calls will follow suit.

    [ 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.