Following the draft decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to end the monopoly on local calls held by Telstra, private telecommunications company and deregulation advocate Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications has already announced its pricing intentions.
Macquarie Corporate, which started lobbying for the deregulation of the local call market as early as March 1997, immediately revealed its plan to offer local calls for as low as 10 cents for a 45-second call, with a capped price of 20 cents for untimed calls. Currently operating as a networking facilities management company, it is also expected to launch its own data network next year, and will be busy reselling network bandwidth. As well as voice, the local call facility will provide clients with a lower-cost dial-in link to its network.
David Tudehope, chief executive of Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications, said that its intention was to add the local call facility as soon as it was given access, and that the 45-second call was designed to complement the data networking facilities it provides to a growing list of corporates.
"Many local data calls such as scheduled updates or authorisations take less than 45 seconds," he added.
"The opportunity of cheaper local dial-up services will be of significant benefit to businesses which dial into networks on a daily basis or multiple times per day," Tudehope said. The opening up of local calls will allow companies like Macquarie to provide a complete voice and data network service.
Tudehope was not able to say when he expects the local calls to be available though.
"The umpire has raised his finger but the batsman (Telstra) is still standing at the crease," he said.