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
  • Is this site really necessary?

    Quite a lot of people have asked this, and it's a good question. New technologies are proving glacially slow to appear, but all those that are being trialled by NTL and Atlantic Telecom Group plc are described as unmetered.

    One thing we've found while campaigning is that £30 to £50 a month is considered a lot by most people. Not everyone is awash with money; for example, one of my photographers for a magazine article said that £30 a month would add up, over the year, to a fair chunk of his family holiday. In addition, many former Videotron subscribers who enjoy unmetered calls to an Internet Service Provider have low incomes or are on benefits; they'd have the phone anyway and can afford £10-£15 per month to an ISP but not more. Paying that, they find the Internet a cheap method of communication and an efficient way to look for jobs.

    Even in the USA, where cable modems are already available for anything between $30 and $60 per month all in, many people have told us that, if they were to pay any more, the cable modem would go back. Of course the Americans have a fallback in unmetered local phone calls ...

    And, more obviously, not everyone has a cable running past their door; many people will never have one, and coverage is not complete even in 'cable-ready' areas. Power line access is taking a long time to appear; satellite access, even if it were available in this country, currently requires a telephone line for upstream data transfer; ADSL is only viable up to a certain distance from the local telephone exchange; home wireless access is currently very restricted in coverage. At the moment the 56K modem is as good as you'll get in the home, and it will probably remain the only choice for many people for many years to come.

    So there is much to campaign for.

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