cr> Re: Re: ACTA petition to FCC on Internet telephone


(The following news summary was posted by Madanmohan Rao,
Communications Director, United Nations Inter Press Service Bureau, to
the MecklerMedia Internet World site, which is on the Web at

     Australian Internet users making long-distance phone calls via the
     Internet may undermine Telstra's and Optus's most profitable source
     of revenue. But regulator Austel's general manager of industry
     affairs, John Haydon, said neither carrier had yet raised the issue
     of potential revenue loss with Austel. In the United States, the
     America's Carriers Telecommunications Association has already
     petitioned the Federal Communications Commission - the U.S.
     equivalent of Austel - to stop companies selling Internet phone and
     fax products. ACTA described the bypassing of traditional carriers
     as "misuse of the Internet". Computer experts at the recent Com Tech
     Open Systems Forum in Australia agreed traditional telephony might
     be threatened by the Net. Telstra has to provide untimed local calls
     and offer service all over Australia, even where it is very
     expensive. To fund this, it cross-subsidises from its huge profits
     in the long- distance business. Telstra CEO Frank Blount hinted
     recently that untimed local calls will become untenable if they are
     used for protracted connections to the Net. The Australian annual
     international calls market is estimated at more than $2 billion.
     (Sydney Morning Herald; March 19, 1996)

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