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Re: Smoking gun in CA

  At 03:45 PM 4/29/96 -0400, James Love wrote:
  (re: nailed resi ISDNlines)
  >             In California the residential tariff is unmetered evenings 
  >and weekends and this hasn't happened.  It hasn't happened in Tennesse.  
  >And I don't do it with my flat rate telephone line in Virginia either.  
  >Basically, there isn't any evidence that this has happened in any flat 
  >rate states..    Some people nail up modem lines... but this is a tiny 
  >fraction of users.  The number of nailed up modem lines is probably far 
  >greater now than the number of nailed up ISDN lines.  If 1 of 20 people 
  >do this, its not that big of a deal.. If 1 of 50 people do, who cares?
  This is, of course, a major excuse for telcos to claim that ISDN should
  only be measured service.  They don't apply it to modem lines because 
  those are the same as voice lines, and that's politically sensitive.
  They conveniently ignore that ISDN is inferior to, but still largely 
  fungible with, analog lines.  Overprice ISDN and people settle for analog,
  unhappily perhaps, but the vast majority of resi users won't switch to
  metered service just to get ISDN.
  I'm told that in Massachusetts, the DPU asks telco for average usage 
  figures for each residential line class (there are several different
  "flat rate" options in Boston, with different radii, etc.).  The price
  must then be high enough to cover the "average" cost.  A few percent of
  Metropolitan Service analog users nailing up their lines will cause the
  rate paid by everyone for Metro to go up a little.  It's the way a few
  700s (numerically speaking) can affect the average of a lot of 10s to 60s.
  This doesn't affect *current* ISDN rates in MA except insasmuch as ISDN
  is (correctly) priced as an $8/month loop supplement to the same rates
  as analog options.
  If this because a real problem, telco would be advised to follow the
  US West lead and set a high threshold cap on "flat" rates.  But it would
  logically be applied to both analog and digital lines.
  What I'm waiting for is an "aggregator modem" box.  This is like an ISDN
  micro router (P50, 5242i, 753, Clam, WebGlider, etc.) except that it has
  two (optionally more) V.34(bis) modems instead of ISDN.  Then users could
  buy all the $9/month flat rate lines they want from Bell Whomever and
  nail them up to their hearts' content.  Four flat POTS lines is a lot cheaper
  than measured ISDN for all but the most casual BA user.  Of course the 
  receiving end provider would need to be in on this.
  Fred R. Goldstein      fgoldstein@bbn.com  
  BBN Corp.              Cambridge MA  USA    +1 617 873 3850