View Full Version : OT. Communication Costs

Murray P
13-11-2004, 08:46 PM
I guess this article (http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3095057a10,00.html) is old news to most of you. Interesting why it would be withheld for so long with some of it now obsolete, but not enough for my liking.

Mind you they have to make a living somehow, we would not want to deny them a fair share of the spoils would we!

Murray P

13-11-2004, 09:36 PM
in some countries cell phones are cheaper to use then land lines due to the high numbers of people ( India for one )

13-11-2004, 10:16 PM
Murray P:

What we need is an independent economist to explain the relevant importance of the "Kiwi share" in Telecom's pricing versus that of other countries.

Today's kids know nothing of this when they complain about Telecom. Their arguments are all to do with broadband pricing & availability compared with other countries.
That's understandable. They've not been to the countries with cheap-broadband which also charge for every local call. Plus there's a bit of short-term history...

It seems that nobody mentions nowadays that we are unusual in free local calls.
That was an arrangement made by the government which sold the old Post Office to private enterprise in the late 80s. Local calling should remain free - no matter what.
(I can vouch for local calling charges in Australia in the 70's. We were a cheap anomaly even then)

I'm certainly not an apologist or advocate for Telecom's charges. Don't like my bills, either.
But nobody ever mentions that we get free local calling ( as opposed to the ticking meter in some countries ) That's really pissing off the shareholders, who want a profit. Lots of those are NZers, of course.
So it'd be interesting to know what today's commercial firm's really losing on that - as opposed to the nice reliable government department we used to have.
Obviously Telecom says it costs them lots. Part of the excuse ( plus lines ) for not making it open slather for the newcomers.

An independent assessment from an impartial economist would be interesting, eh?

Cave Servant
13-11-2004, 10:58 PM
Telecom do have a plan where you can pay for local calls

$25 monthly rental for your land line and you are charged 20c for local calls, did work well when i had 2 tel lines going into your house and you have stated ones a Internet line. You make all local calls on the internet line :)

However when you upgrade to Jetstream you get royally screwed, not only do have to fork out 40 odd $ for your monthly line rental charge (as you cannot get the cheaper plan), you over pay for the privilege of 3rd world High Speed internet..

My 2c

14-11-2004, 12:21 AM
Thanks Cave Servant for that info.
I wasn't aware of it.
You say you're charged 20cents for local calls.
How does that fit in your contract with the "Kiwi share." We're not supposed to pay for local calls, in theory.
Elaborate, please, for the rest of us.

14-11-2004, 12:36 AM
Good post Laura. A timely reminder of the fact that Telecom are competing with one hand tied behind their back.

I honestly don't understand the problem? Sure, our cell calls are a bit expensive. So what? Make less calls, and make them short. It's 3rd form economics. Same with home and business phones. I certainly don't make a toll call without knowing there is a cost.

But it is hardly earth shattering stuff. A mere 18 years ago I sent a fax to Darwin. This involved leaving my office, driving to the Chief Post Office, finding the right room, and watching as a technician fed the 20 pages into a machine the size of fridge. He told me to go away for half an hour.

In fact it took 45 minutes for that fax to transmit and the bill was $320.

So here we all are today, blithely browsing information from anywhere in the world, watching a robot wander around on Mars - and people still complain. The cost is infinitesimal compared with the money spent in cafes, winebars, Gold Coast holidays etc.

Naturally we'd all like this wonderful technology to cost nothing. And be the fastest in the world. But we are a tiny tiny country with a limited economy. We can't have it all, but what we do have is pretty damned good.

I feel much better now. Off to bed. ;)

14-11-2004, 12:44 AM
And so you should feel much better, Winston.
My thanks for the backup.
Sleep well...

14-11-2004, 12:46 AM
......I'm quite happy with what i pay for phone calls......

14-11-2004, 12:58 AM
So does that mean an endorsement, metla?
Or am I waiting for the BUT..?

14-11-2004, 01:17 AM

Heres it is.

But....You expect melodrama and negativity from me?

Whatever gave you that idea?

Quite happy with the service and fees,but i am a light user,i tend to jump in the Metla wagon and go see people face to face rather then use the phone,or i use email.

Use a prepaid mobile,been months since i bought any calltime for it,i probally never will.

14-11-2004, 01:26 AM
> I guess
> this article (http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3095057a10,00
> html) is old news to most of you.
> Interesting why it would be withheld for so long with
> some of it now obsolete, but not enough for my
> liking.

> Murray P


That inf is as you say years old, every time someone tried to iterate it, the one-eyed telescam lovers shouted/abused them down.

now its out from an offical source we may get some pressure on Telescam re rectification.

The Kiwi share relates to resedential calls, the opt out was/is fair and legall.

The areas requiring instant downward adjustment are over charging in mobile calls, still going on, although now down from $2.50 per minuite, and the urserous inter connection costs, both between mobile networks and land line to mobile.

Telescam will flog this area as long as they can we need more satalite network support for voip.

This will hit Telescam were it hurts and force change.

Telescam will rought you anyway they can ,remember this when you have any opourtunity to change, even if the change is not an instant great improvment.

No pain NO GAIN.


Cave Servant
14-11-2004, 10:59 AM
Hey Laura,

The Kiwi Share "clarifies that free local calls includes standard calls to the Internet and fax calls"

The only way around it would be if you choose to pay a lower monthly rental then you agree to be charged for local calls. And with a saving of about $15 per month on monthly rental it equates to about 75 calls. We mainly make cell phone calls so we saved money each month

I did not know about this plan, some friends were on this plan. I rung Telecom and enquired about it, they said no worries it can be done at the end of the monthly bill period; although of note its not advertised on TCNZ web site.......

Murray P
14-11-2004, 12:57 PM
Original definition of the Kiwi Share:

Maintain a local free calling option for ordinary residential telephone service;
Charge no more than the standard residential rental for ordinary residential telephone service; and
Continue to make ordinary residential telephone service as widely available as at 1 November 1989.

They do have an out for uneconomic lines under the TSO, if they can prove to the Government that they place "Unreasonable impairment of overall profitability" on them.

Yes Laura, I'm aware of the Kiwi Share and, there is an economic paper on it (amongst others) which was written for the MED (I think) regards the TSO (Telecommunications Service Obligation), which also discusses the technical nature of the share and NZ's telecommunications infrastructure in great detail vis costs, technical merits, present and future needs.

I read about 20 pages of this report and skimmed the rest, understood about 10% of the technical stuff but gained enough to know that the authors were not entirely happy with either the technology or the economics or Telecom's claims for both Kiwi Share from other telecom companies or their claims of the cost of current and future infrastructure needs.

For the Kiwi Share, the upshot was that Telecom were doing quite nicely thank you, it was not the onerous burden they were reporting it as.

Despite getting serious offers, Telecom wont give up the uneconomic lines to other firms, which is what, in part the Kiwi Share covers, and what the other firms operating in NZ pay a fee to Telecom based on their turnover (that includes mobile operators). Ever wondered why?

Murray P