Connection Fees Battle goes Global

The 2degrees connection fees battle has gone global with the NY Times having a editorial on the issue. They look at all the same sorts of issues worldwide and little old New Zealand gets a mention.

The smallest British mobile operator, 3, and its biggest land-line operator, BT, say 02 and Vodafone, which have grown into global wireless operators, should no longer be subsidized through termination rates because it preserves their dominance.

BT and 3 started a campaign in July called “Terminate the Rate,” urging Ofcom to lower rates to less than 1 pence, the charge British consumers pay to connect to a land-line phone. In New Zealand, the smallest operator, 2degrees, on Tuesday helped introduce a similar campaign, “Drop the Rate, Mate.

In Britain, organizers of the “Terminate the Rate” campaign say more than 70,000 people, including more than 100 members of Parliament, have signed its petition.

Also the NZ Herald has an editorial saying to call the bluff of the incumbent duopoly paedo-telcos who like nothing better than-fiddling with kiddies wallets.

It has been three years since we have heard the sort of fighting talk now coming from the telecommunications industry. In 2006, it was Telecom warning of dire consequences if the previous Government opened its network to competitors. Its bluff was called, much to the benefit of consumers and the economy. Now, it is Telecom and Vodafone, the big two in the mobile phone market, which are predicting costly repercussions for consumers if the termination charge that rivals pay to gain access to their networks is regulated. Their bluff, too, should be called, and soon.

I say call their bluff too.