[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Another Point Of View (Round 2)
Fred R. Goldstein wrote in a message to Mike Bilow:
FRG> Take, for instance, intra-LATA toll. This has been
FRG> preposterously overpriced (often 10x cost) for a long time.
FRG> Then as states began to authorize competition, the prices
FRG> fell precipitously. Bell South used to get over 50c/minute
FRG> on some routes! Now, with competition, some RBOCs have
FRG> literally abolished intra-LATA tolls. Bell South's
FRG> Miami-LATA tariff now allows any intra-LATA call for 25
FRG> cents untimed. This doesn't leave much room for competition.
You hardly have to go as far as BellSouth to find an example of this. Here in
single-LATA Rhode Island, a whole state 30 miles wide by 50 miles long, we had
intra-state tolls reaching 51 cents per minute in some cases a few years ago.
We had towns where some constituents had to pay a toll to call their town
council member. We also had several cases of non-reciprocity, where calling in
one direction would invoke a toll and calling in the other direction on the
same path would be free. MCI began offerring intra-state toll calls at 11
cents for the first minute and 7 cents for each additional minute. NYNEX
immediately dropped their rates by almost half, although they were still more
expensive than MCI. NYNEX finally threw in the towel a couple of months ago
and introduced unlimited calling anywhere in the state for $25 per month.
FRG> I'm not saying I'm *opposed* to lower, if compensatory,
FRG> rates. Just that the telcos hold rates high *until* there
FRG> is a real chance of competition, then undercut them in order
FRG> to preserve their monopoly. (An unprofitable monopoly is
FRG> better than no monopoly at all, I guess.)
What is most galling is that the telephones companies claim for years that such
low rates would bankrupt them, and then suddenly they manage to do it once
someone else does it for less.