line rentals up 90% over last 2 years
mobile charges up
ADSL charges up
free easymail gone
mobile dealership margins down.
It was all so typical – and oh so predictable – in a situation where competition was initiated on the wrong regulatory footing.
Telstra not only tried to stifle competition via the legal system – it has also been, and still is, using all its market power to regain its former monopoly. The recipe is very simple: once you have eradicated your competitors, you lift your prices again. Within a few months Telstra is in a position to wipe out the few advantages that competition has brought to Australia. And they will do this with the blessing of the government. If the government allows this appalling situation to continue Telstra will certainly increase its profits towards the $5 billion (isn’t that great for the upcoming T3!).
The latest development is the end of Easymail, which was designed simply to make life difficult for the ISPs who had begun to annoy Telstra by operating competitively in 1998.
This is how Telstra promoted the service at that time:
‘A Christmas Gift to all Australians’
It said the service would …
‘break down the barriers of distance and isolation’
- and -
‘connect many Australians to the world for the cost of a local call. Telstra’s Easymail is a no-frills email service enabling users to send and receive emails for the cost of a local phone call, without paying any start up costs or Internet access fees.’
We estimated that last year some 600,000 people had an Easymail address. The service has been invaluable for people who cannot afford Internet access – especially low-income earners, job-seekers and Australians living in rural and regional areas.
Global – Analysis – Industry Analysis – Incumbent Carriers;
Global – Analysis – Industry Analysis – Infrastructure Issues.
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