|Effect of removing unmetered calls
|I run a small publishing company 'on the side'. A group of us are currently working on several projects. We conference through the night and weekends on collaborations. If my friends and I lost unmetered local calls, our freedom to do so would be curtailed. Perhaps severely.
|Most of my business actually comes via the Internet. Without unmetered calls, I wouldn't be able to use the Usenet groups through which I find possible customers (at least, not as extensively), wouldn't be able to monitor competitors' websites (at least, not as often) and wouldn't be able to have a comprehensive site that is being planned, since I would have to pay every time I upload.
|I run a Web design business and consequently I eat up large amounts of online time in order to install and check sites, register sites with search engines (often very time consuming), research the ever-changing developments in the Web marketplace and generally keep up with Web events etc. I also conference a lot with clients and other Web developers online.
As a result, I have come to rely heavily on free local calls and have totally altered my lifestyle so I can work during the off-peak hours when free local calls are available. If free calls are withdrawn I will have to massively restrict my online time and as such it is inevitable that my business will suffer in a major way.
I expect I'll muddle through somehow, but since my business is still at the early 'fledgling' stage, loss of free local calls poses a serious threat to the survival chances of my business. Indeed, I doubt I would have taken the plunge and started my own business if free local calls hadn't been available from Videotron - the costs would have been too huge given the online time required.
So, having taken the plunge I'm very worried and concerned by the threat to free local calls.
|Lord M Spencer
|Cheap Household Removals
|This will affect my business a bit as I have a few adverts on the net with an email form for people to fill out to receive a moving quote. It will therefore cost me more to receive these emails and any potential advertising I do. I am also a director of Datasouth Design, a web-based, advertising company which it will affect dramatically, we may even give it up as costs to transfer data and advertise our services would soar. C+W don't seem to care too much about small internet related business.
|To date, sales, marketing and customer support are only via the Internet. In a couple of months or so, I hope to extend publicity and therefore the market.
|I run a franchise and the main way all the franchisees communicate with each other and the franchisor is through email and message boards on the company's www site. To have to pay more for this will cut already marginal profits.
|Cambridge Web Design
|Unmetered calls were crucial to the early stages of setting up the company, and are still very important for day to day operations.
|All local calls should be free. I agree with all that you say about metered calls.
|I run a web and graphics design service over the Internet. Like many others I've had to alter my lifestyle so I can work during unmetered times. The hours online are long and necessary - and metering would have a dramatic negative effect on productivity.
The unmetered calls were what attracted me to Videotron in the first place. The difference in telephone call rates between BT and CWC is not big enough - even under any special package - for it to make a difference to me who I choose as my provider when it comes to just using the telephone for regular talking.
Unmetered calls however, are a major attraction when it comes to the Internet - this is a medium which needs to be made accessible to everyone, not nipped in the bud before people in the UK have had a chance to experience it properly. Without unmetered calls, my business would suffer and a wealth of knowledge out there on the WWW would not be accessible to those of us who don't have free use of the Internet through school or through their place of work ...
I am obviously concerned about the effects metering would have on me, but I really don't believe that metering is the way to price connection to the Internet.
It's not very visionary to go down that road.
|Superscript (Thamesmead) Limited
|We run a small non-profit local news service for southeast London and require access to the Net for wire services and other information. To keep our costs low, we use our unmetered calls to work from remote sites, which means we do not need an office. If the calls go, so do we.
|Evolving Technology Limited
|Needed for bulk downloads from Novell, Microsoft etc...
|The only reason I signed with Videotron was the free call status. With BT's recent price cuts I would have to re-evaluate the pricing structures, adding in the 'disgruntled' factor, and probably move to an alternative supplier.
|Metered local calls will mean a severe uprising of expenditure, which is enough as it is already.
|I would leave C&W the minute they drop calls. They are dreadful. After a planned move I have been without a phone for 12 days. When someone bothered it took 1 minute to fix.
|Topcom Computers Limited
|It will make a big impact on our interrogating various manufacturers' and suppliers' sites for information, service, specs etc.
|I have over 300 customers who get great pleasure from using the Internet. Taking the 'free' calls
from them would have a great effect not only on their pleasure, but I would be in great danger of losing my business and family income. Several
customers have complained to me already about CWC dirty tricks to change their contracts."