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Re: Note from a satisfied customer
On Fri, 15 Mar 1996, Bill Frezza wrote:
> My basic monthly charge for ISDN, including two phone numbers, is $27.35.
> Aside from a one time activation fee of $165, there is also an ISDN usage
> charge of 2 cents per minute per "B" channel, or half that between 7p.m.
> and 7a.m.. At that rate, I could surf the net for 29 hours per month and
> still pay less than I used to for analog service.
In most Bell Atlantic areas, the ISDN upgrade is $19.50, plus the
POTS rate, plus the $125 install, and the per minute charges. Under the
Bell Atlantic tariffs, people economize on the fees by using a single B
channel, which then gives people half the bandwidth the technology can
deliver. If you hold it down to one B channel, and use the service less
than 30 hours per month, as Bill implies he will (about 1 hour per day),
then the rate will be the $27 - $34 per month fixed fee, plus the $.60 to
$1.20 per hour for using the single B channel, or an additional $17.40 to
$34.80 per month, depending upon time of day. Apparently not beyond Bill's
Our interest in ISDN pricing is for what the service can deliver, if
broadly deployed. We think that with broad deployment of a reasonably
priced service, used full bore (both B channels), you might see a new
generation of information products offered. For example, the daily
newspaper, in a Digital Ink type format (the Wash Post product), would
begin to look good over over 2B ISDN connections, as compared to the
terrible product it is over a modem. I think that much higher quality
internet radio broadcasting begins to become interesting, as does two-way
vidoe conferencing, over telephone connections, plus lots of other things.
So what is the right number of ISDN usage hours for a public policy
analysis? I think that 29 hours per month, Frizza's number, is too low.
However, if the 29 hours was used full bore, at 2B, the per minute charges
would be between $34.80 and $69.60, depending upon time of day, plus the
other fees. (wait till you see the bill, Bill, the fixed monthly fees
will look higher than the $27 you quoted.) Cost of an ISDN line, for
local calls would be $70 to $100 per month.
What would 100 hours of 2B+D cost under the BA tariff? That is, what
if the line was used for the things that the technology is supposed to
deliver? It would cost about $198 for local calls. What about a "nailed
up" line? Like for the parent who runs a web page off a home computer for
our elementry school. About $1,200.
Now, in the Delaware ISDN proceeding, the PSC Staff yesterday
reportedly wanted to cap Bell Atlantic per minute usage fees at $1.60 per
month, based upon what is known about the actual costs of the service.
What does Bell Atlantic charge for business ISDN centrex service in the
DC area? Apparently about $38 per month, plus 9.5 cents per call. Are
residential consumers being ripped off? Yes. Should the PUCs protect
consumers? CPT says yes.
James Love / email@example.com / P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
Voice: 202/387-8030; Fax 202/234-5176
Center for Study of Responsive Law
Consumer Project on Technology; http://www.essential.org/cpt
Taxpayer Assets Project; http://www.essential.org/tap