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- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Amerikanische Verhaeltnisse...........
- From: UZS106@ibm.rhrz.uni-bonn.de
- Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 12:19:06 +0200
- Comment: This message comes from the debate mailing list.
- Sender: email@example.com
Ich dachte, bevor ich mich an so eine Presseerklaerung mache,
vielleicht mach ichs, recherchier ich mal ein bischen.
Zwei GURUs in telecommunication matters haben geantwortet.
Waer nett, wenn jemand jenen PDF file, UNTEN, mal ansehen wuerde, inwieweit
die Goldsteinsche Zusammenfassung, hier zuerst, bestaetigt wird.
Ich hab hier keinen Viewer.........
At 05:03 PM 7/7/1998 -0500, Heiko somebodyorother wrote:
>Somebody wants me to write some commentary, but I dont know enough about
>flat rates, I dont have exact numbers, for example... The legal side of it
>in germany isnt too difficult, IMHO.
>So, does anybody know a source about flat rates, is there an overview,
>a primer or something, can somebody explain me the system that leads
>to those flat rates in america ? Some sentences, it will be a short
>piece of commentary too ;-)
Flat rate local service means that there is no charge at all for local
telephone calls. You can make all you want for no additional charge. The
basic monthly rate includes, as part of the price, unlimited local usage.
In some areas, flat rate is the only option, for residential and business
subscribers. (Typically, those are small towns, or more rural states.) In
such cases, the full cost of local service (including usage, or
"traffic-sensitive" [TS] cost, and the "non-traffic-sensitive" [NTS] fixed
cost of the line) is averaged amongst all subscribers.
In some areas, there are both flat rate and measured-rate options. The
measured rate is more appealing to those who make fewer local calls, of
course. But because some users are taking the measured option, the average
usage of the flat rate subscribers tends to be higher, so the flat rate is
higher than it would be in an "all flat rate" area. This is a very common
arrangement. Residential subscribers, it turns out, almost always take
flat rate, because they like it that way. (I'm referring to Americans, of
course, who get this choice.) Business subscribers are more likely to take
the option that actually costs them the least. Usually this is the flat
rate, unless their phone usage is heavily weighted towards incoming calls
(for which there is never a fee, other than 800 service and other reversed
In many areas, business usage is always measured, while residence can get
flat rate (usually with a measured option). This allows high business
measured-usage costs to subsidize very low flat residential rates. It is
quite common for flat rate analog residence lines to cost under $15/month
inclusive of both the state and federal (FCC subscriber line charge)
tariffs. This is almost certainly below the NTS cost alone. But in other
areas, residence flat rates are closer to, or even above costs.
Cost studies have shown that the TS proportion of the total cost of local
telephone service is less than 20%, and the cost per minute of local usage
is generally under 1/2 cent ($.005). Yet where rates are measured
(especially in Germany!), measured local call rates are many times the
cost. Therefore a flat rate structure is actually closer to reflecting
cost than most measured rates!
There are some alternatives. One is the "message rate", or untimed calls.
This is still fairly common for business service, and is the norm for
residence service in a few places (such as Chicago and New York City).
This has real problems in the modem era, of course, since it discourages
hanging up. Another alternative is the "threshold rate", where calls are
timed but there is no charge unless the usage is extremely high, many times
the average (typically 200 hours/month). This is like a flat rate to
anyone who doesn't "nail" their line, that is, using flat-rate service to
get a cheap leased-line-like service. This is especially important in the
ISDN world. (Threshold rates for analog lines are rare.) Another is the
"callpack", wherein blocks of usage (calls or hours) are presold at a fixed
rate which is lower than the measured rate, but you pay whether or not you
use it up, and if you go over your callpack you pay an overtime rate. This
is not terribly common but Bell Atlantic uses it for ISDN in some states,
and it's an option (untimed) in Chicago. Prepaid usage blocks (in
minutes/month) is the norm for cellular.
Opinions are mine alone. Sharing requires permission.
Und hier die besagte URL:
Information on typical local residential telephone rates can be found in
an FCC report at: