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) Adelong 770 Alice Sp 2730 Ballarat 420 Beaudesert 440 Biloela 1000 Brdigetown 620 BullsbrookE 890 Burra 1590 Cairns 1160 Carnarvon 820 Charlevill 3300 Colac 700 Corryong 880 Albury 820 Ararat 500 Balaklava 4070 Bega 590 Bordertown 1480 Bribie Is 440 Bunbury 890 Busseiton 620 Camamah 1440 Casino 630 Clare 460 Condobolin 1660 Cowra 1150 Albany 1780 Armidale 1040 Barraba 2410 Bendigo 480 Bourke 2710 Broken Hil 3410 Bundaberg 560 Caboolture 680 Camperdown 700 Casterton 900 Cloncurry 2570 Cooma 960 Crockwell 780 Alexandra 530 Bairnsdale 1410 Bathurst 880 Berri 830 Bowral 1170 Bruce Rock 2950 Burnie 850 Caduna 6300 Campbelltown 250 Charlton 900 Coffs Har 430 Coonamble 1850 Dalby 1540 Deloraine 680 Dirranband 2510 Emerald 2370 Foster 300 Geelong 500 Gladstone 1100 Gosford 1620 Griffith 1640 Hopetoun 1760 Inverell 1030 Katanning 2740 Kingaroy 720 Kyogle 700 Longreach 3120 Maryborough 550 Merredin 2030 Mornington 240 Morawa 5110 Murray Br 480 Deniliquin 1500 Dubbo 1110 Esk 790 Gatton 540 Geeveston 600 Glen Innes 2300 Goulburn 1030 Gunnedah 1040 Horsham 640 Kadina 640 Kempsey 580 Kondinin 2750 Launceston 730 Mackay 750 Marulan 930 Mildura 1780 Moruya 760 Mt Gambier 600 Murwillumbah 270 Derby 1470 Devonport 600 Echuca 500 Edenhope 1220 Flinders I 4930 Forbes 3060 Gawler 380 Gayndah 2520 Geraldton 2340 Gladstone 970 Goondiwindi 1150 Grafton 450 Grafton 450 Gympie 530 Hamilton 640 Hughenden 1470 Inglewood 1810 Kalgoorlie 1420 Kangaroo Is 2360 Kerang 690 Korumburra 440 Lismore 330 Maitland 580 Maryborough 550 Miles 1800 Moree 1920 Mudgee 1050 Murgon 640 King Island 2220 Kyneton 430 Lithgow 600 Mallala 310 Meekatharra 6642 Moora 2840 Morwell 530 Mullewa 2090 Muswellbrook 1660 Myrtleford 550 Nambour 260 Naracootre 1650 Narrabri 1530 Narrandera 1370 Northam 1100 Nyngan 4230 Ouyen 910 Pt Augusta 2730 Portland 590 Rylstone 760 Shepparton 430 Stanthorpe 650 Taree 560 Victor Harb 240 Wangaratta 610 Wauchope 490 Wollongong 3720 York 1880 Narrogin 1150 Nowra 460 Oatlands 680 Parkes 1340 Pt Lincoln 2470 Queenstown 1250 Sale 730 Singleton 1320 Swan Hill 1080 Temora 810 Wagin 3270 Warragul 330 Wellington 500 Wongan Hill 2470 Yorkstown 1130 Newcastle 850 Numurkah 420 Orange 660 Peterborou 2180 Pt Pirie 1220 Rockhampto 1020 Scottsdale 1270 Smithton 1140 Tailem Ben 1910 Toowoomba 480 Wagga 790 Warwick 630 W Wyalong 1080 Woomera 2740 Young 510 Nhill 900 Nurriootpa 850 Ouse 950 Pinjarra 470 Pt Hedland 1950 Roma 1980 Seymour 520 St Marys 910 Tamworth 780 Townsville 1460 Waikerie 1260 Warrnambool 410 Windsor 490 Wyalkatchem 1780 RURAL USERS COSTS In Oct 98, Telstra announced that it had recalculated the cost of the subsidy (USO) for rural users at $1.8bn. The current Universal Service Obligation (USO) is set at only $252m. Of this Optus paid $23m and Vodafone paid $2m. This equates to 57,00 loss making lines. The new figure equates with 500,000 loss making lines. The Liberal Party and the National Party, under pressure from bush voters who will see a steep slide in their service, put a cap on the lower figure. This will save them from some problems when they argue to flog off more of Telstra.