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There's no such thing as a free lunch

The idea of having free access to the Internet for home users is a strange one. But the campaign in support of the idea has quite a lot of voices. When you make a connection to an Internet Service Provider, your data goes down a line provided by British Telecom or a similar communications supplier. The longer you are online, the more that supplier's costs rise. It simply makes little economic or moral sense to make these 'calls' free. Somebody has to pay. If it is not the particular Internet user, then somebody else has to pay or the free service has to be subsidised, for example, by higher charges for voice calls.

Why not stop this drive for free services and just let people pay for what they use. Most of the so called 'free' schemes that already exist require subscription payments or minimum amounts of money being spent on voice calls. It may be true that normal charges for local calls in the UK are too high. If that is so, then people should start to insist on having a fairer set of telecomms charges established.

It matters little that local telephone calls, and hence most Internet calls, are free in the USA and that people there seem to have an advantage over the UK population. Even in the USA something is not fair about the system. Heavy users of local calls are getting subsidised by low users of local calls.

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Copyright - John Peirson 2001
Keywords - Free internet, free lunch, ISP, communications, telecomms, pay, subsidise, charges, costs, local calls, fair