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Entry 71, on 2004-10-20 at 14:47:28 (Rating 3, News)
Recently there has been some discussion in the news regarding cell phone charges, and whether regulation is necessary to bring them down to a more reasonable level. Currently in New Zealand charges for calling cell phones from a land line are among the most expensive in the world.
Naturally, everyone is blaming everyone else. The cell phone operator Vodafone blames the phone companies Telecom and Telstra-Clear. Telstra-Clear blames the cell networks Telecom and Vodafone. Telecom says everything is fine and leave it like it is.
One thing's for sure. You can't trust business in a critical area like communications. Most big businesses are only a small step above criminals, in my opinion. They bend the rules, and use every dirty trick imaginable. They don't care about the quality of the service unless it affects their profit. They don't look at the big picture or the long term because they only need to make the balance sheet for the current financial year look good.
One of the greatest failures (and there are many of them) of the new right experiment in New Zealand (begun by that disastrous Labour government of 1984) is the monopoly situation Telecom has in controlling telecommunications in our country while providing mediocre services at enormous profit.
Telecom say they oppose regulation because it will stifle innovation and competition. I don't think anyone believes that any more. They oppose regulation because it will make it harder for them to overcharge the consumer for their crappy monopoly services!
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