Response from Minister of Comms.
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 08:54:34 +-1000
Sent: Monday, 10 March 1997 8:30
Cc: link list; David Begley; Andrew Leahy; Marilyn Edmond
Subject: Re: Response from Minister of Comms.
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 . . .",
There are provisions in the Telecommunications Bill 1996 that provide a "guarantee". In dealing with governments and their regulatory regimes, business/community always face sovereign risk. Just another risk to be managed.
> However, nothing in the new legislation will prevent carriers and =
> 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.
My reading of the current legislation is that price controls will effectively prohibit Telstra from using high rates as you suggest. See also the next sentence from Tom Dale's letter.
... snip ...
> It should also be noted that Telstra's charges for local and STD calls =
> 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.
. . . daryl . . .
Lost in c'Space . . .