Bell vs. Internet Providers (fwd)
kai at netcom.com
Fri Nov 10 21:15:34 UTC 1995
The question is where are the real costs of a local phone call?
Are they in the call setup? Are they in the length of time for
the call? Some combination? What switch resources need to be expanded
to deal with long holding time calls? What switch resources can be
reduced if you need to process fewer call setups?
It is possible that modem calls are a bad deal for phone companies, but
it is also possible they are a good deal. Does anyone really know?
This is classic traffic engineering. The cost of providing service is almost
exclusively governed by capacity size, and that is chosen following a sole
parameter: peak usage. You never ever want to run out of local switch
trunks for local calls: modern switch matrixes can interconnect 50% of
all lines internally, interconnecting trunks to other switches can handle
maybe 20% of line capacity.
Traffic patterns show that peak usage is during business hours, with call
volume (lines engaged) being 3-4 times the average of after-hour use.
There is no telco in the world, that can show me they are being ripped off
by the growing number of modem users, this is really just another case of
'cashing in on the super information highway' . The few people who stay
on 24 hours are an EXCEPTION, not a rule, and in most cases such people
have several phone lines in their home (I have 3, one is on 24 hours , hence on
average I don't use my phone lines more than 33% of all times, as the
other lines are seldomly in use: the phone co. is cashing in by selling me
three lines !).
Also: there are many people who get second phone lines exclusively for
modem use now, hence a single modem line an ISP has installed might create
an additional 2-3 lines with residential customers. Did you ever hear the
phone co. complaining about too many residential (or other) phone lines ?
All Nynex whines of how residential service would really cost them much more
than the customer is actually paying aside: this must be one of the really
dirty secrets of the RBOCS.
Short: off-peak usage of telco facilities is not costing the telco any
real money, (this is especially true for LD companies!) as the capacity
planning (and purchase) is governed by peak usage, any screams by them in
that general direction should be ignored, their monopolistic actions
fought with a vengeance: EdTel of Edmonton,Alberta started making noises
as described no sooner than they were beginning to plan their own internet
service. I hear they have a special tariff discount for fax lines (business
or residential) too, or at least used to.
Are they talking with two tounges ?
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