Response from Minister of Comms.
Sun, 9 Mar 1997 22:30:04 -0700 (MST)
On Mon, 10 Mar 1997, Rachel Polanskis wrote:
> I think they have left some nice little loopholes to allow the
> breaking of promises once again. It looks like a bunch of
> rhetoric to me, anyway...
Rachel, you're not alone.
> Access to untimed local calls is a key element of the Commonwealth
> Government's telecommunications policy.
Slippery. It does not say, "A continued guarantee of access . . .",
> However, nothing in the new legislation will prevent carriers and other
> service providers from offering business and residential customers an
> option of timed local calls, and nothing will stop them from charging
> business customers for non-voice calls on an untimed basis.
[I take it that this was in response to a specific point you raised,
otherwise it is unclear why this point should be raised by him.] This
strongly suggests that Telstra may use high rates for basic service to
coerce customers into agreeing to the timed-call option.
The lack of restrictions on timed-call billing for businesses is a
drag on the development of 'cottage industry' opeations using non-voice
communication to conduct their business.
> It should also be noted that Telstra's charges for local and STD calls are,
> and will continue to be, subject to price controls determined by the
Things change. Locally here, it is expected that our provincial
government, which followed New Zealand-style removal of regulation, will
take its upcoming re-election to dismantle that which they have heretofore
left unmolested for fear of public reaction. Price controls are also
probably subject to modification by government fiat, without the need for
discussion in the legislature; too, the timing of modification, and
whether or not it gets buried in unrelated legislation or omnibus bills,
is determined by government.
Moreover, there is no mention of the possibility of competition in
providing telecommunications service, and the associated drop in costs
that would out a check on Telstra's rates (assuming prior privatisation
> BTW, I wonder what they thought of my signature?
> Witty comment revoked due to funding cuts
I'm sure they get that sort of thing (well, maybe not subtle
irony) from the Opposition all the time. But the lack of sticks, stones
names, slings or arrows may have confused them.
BTW: can you be sure that the signator actually wrote the reply?
. . . daryl . . .
Lost in c'Space . . .