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
  • People on low incomes would be affected

    Given our treatment of the 'emergency services' excuse, the apologists can go one step lower.

    Presumably the assertion is that line rentals would have to go up to subsidise heavy users.

    Quite apart there not being a shred of evidence to support that assertion it is refuted by, of all people, my mother. She has done the rounds of Meals on Wheels for six years and has been making some checks herself, and what she said took me by surprise:

    • More than half of the people she visits - who, remember, are the poorest of the poor - do not have a telephone at all;

    • Of those that do, about three-quarters have them for incoming calls and emergencies only.
    The local council has introduced emergency radio links (activated by pendants, which people can wear round their necks, and buttons mounted on skirting boards) for everyone in lieu of telephones.

    I would like to throw any such assertion back thus:

    Operator: Do you want to see pensioners suffer?

    Moderator: No, they should have subsidised unmetered lines. There are many precedents - such as free Travelcards - and, as it is, the telephone is too expensive for them.

    Operator: (cough, splutter)

    You may notice a bit of an edge to this Mythbuster. This is because anything about the 'housebound being affected by unmetered access' is offensive and patronising in the extreme to me (Alastair).

    When I was recovering from serious illness in late 1996 unmetered access was absolutely essential to me - keeping me in touch with friends whom I could not visit - and, through the Cable and Wireless Watch campaigning work, I have got to know many housebound and disabled people who depend on the Internet and who, in at least one case, would not have been alive now without unmetered Internet access. That person is an OAP ...

    Text by Alastair Scott

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