It's anyone's guess what will happen to unmetered local calls, particularly with the continuing uncertainty over CWC's plans for broadband access.
After all, there's plenty of room for an 'acceptable compromise', and their position has softened. Up until the end of January 1998 the message, garbled to a greater or lesser extent, from them was 'unmetered calls go in June 1998, no alternative, no choice'. June 1998 has passed and:
So it seems that the power and simplicity of the argument for unmetered calls, the constant stream of complaints, and the tremendous response to the pledge - twenty times more signatories than I expected - has had an effect. This is not really a surprise: I am amazed at the fervour shown by everyone involved. All the more reason not to let up!
- the end date, if there is one, is undefined;
- an 'acceptable alternative' is not ruled out;
- they understand that any removal will not be taken lightly;
- they realise that many people depend on unmetered local calls for their livelihood.
So please sign the pledge if you haven't already done so; join the mailing list and pool information; let CWC know your views; keep the Consumer's Association, Watchdog and any other consumer-related media informed; write to the press; keep the regulators busy if CWC make mistakes; get help from your local Citizens Advice Bureau ... and do whatever else you can.
With tremendous help from a lot of people the whole issue has gained publicity outside these pages, and there's more to come.