RESIDENTIAL PHONE INSTALLATION COST 'SUBSIDIES'. Below is a list of some towns and cities showing the effective "subsidies' Telstra bears in the interests of providing a subscriber service whereby all Australians get their residential phone installed for a standard fee. Simply subtract your standard installation charge from the amount shown and you find an example (it may not be exactly that which your phone gets unless you are in the named town) of the 'subsidisation' each residential phone has in your area. The figures are March 1996 and at some time since then, as the moves toward full privatisation have been going on, these figures have no longer been made available. We think this is to conceal the facts from the general public. Would privateers continue this effective subsidisation as a 'service to the people of Australia' or would they claim, as Telstra recently has done on their very public push for removal of 'non-profitable' public telephones claiming "It is not in the interests of shareholders". Many of the larger amounts shown below are, naturally, in some very remote places and the out-back areas will be the worst affected closely followed by most regional areas, both towns and rural areas. Government "guarantees", "assurances" and promises are not worth anything as they are already under sustained attack from those pushing for full privatisation and will be whittled away over time. In any case who would believe those that blatantly lied when it was said, "There will never ever, ever, be a GST" There is only one lot we can rely on and that is you and me and the general public of Australia all fighting this issue together.
The Nationals went to water and betrayed all of us who live in the bush by gutlessly kow-towing to the demands of the Liberals. They, like any parliamentary party can't ever be trusted to do what is best for us, the Australian people, either. We see the sale of our national communications carrier as a traitorous act by people and governments subservient to foreign corporations and governments. We thank the CEPU for the use of their material. Communications Electrical & Plumbing Union
CEPU - DATABASE - CEPU TELEPHONE COSTS "
Local Call Costs " Rural Users Costs " Installation Costs LOCAL CALL COSTS
The media regularly report the results of a survey showing always that the Telstra and to some extent Optus (Yes but don't call us yet) Phone calls are the dearest in the world. Unfortunately, the survey is very misleading. To give you one anecdote. I was in Birmingham Alabama (Not the worlds largest city) and tried to phone a friend who lived "in the suburbs". The public phone (via computer voice) asked for US75c (about $1.00 Aus) before it would make a connection. And then it was a timed call. Why is this so! Are not all local calls free in USA. Of course they are. But having lived there for a short time, I came to the conclusion that local meant very local. Your exchange area seemed to be the limit. So if you called someone with the same call area (the first 3 digits of your phone number was the same as the first 3 digits of the person you called), then you got thru, and apparently you are not charged for this call - I could never tell! But if the call was to the next major suburb, then it was a timed local call. The Aus Financial Review carried the usual story on 27 Mar 97. It had the usual headline "Australia most expensive place for local phone calls". Well everybody knows that - the lie has been run so often! Telstra wrote the usual letter of complaint. AFR published the complaint in the usual place - about 16 pages further in. Telstra makes the usual points: - Australia is one of the few countries with untimed local calls - Australia is one of 4 OECD countries with untimed local calls - Most of the countries surveyed have timed calls - Canada has free local calls - Canada has an average free call zone of 8km. - In Canada, a call equivalent to a call from Sydney airport to city would be a timed call. - Sydney has a local call zone of about 40km. - Melbourne has a local call zone of about 40km. - The Telstra local call rate has been 25c since April 1992 - Business line rentals in Canada are A$68.50 per month - Business line rentals in New Zealand are A$52.00 per month - Business line rentals in Australia are A$20.00 per month - Residential line rentals in Australia are A$11.65 per month
YOUR PHONE INSTALLATION COSTS The following represent the $ costs of installing an average telephone in the towns listed. Would a private company accept these losses? (figures as at Mar 1996)