TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: France -- $6.75 for Three Minute

Re: France -- $6.75 for Three Minute
14 Feb 2006 07:33:02 -0800

T wrote:

>> As little as $6.75 plus tax for a three minute station to station
>> call. Calling France

> And now I pay 4 cents a minute from the U.S. to most G8 nations,
> including France. How things have changed.

I should've mentioned that the ad was announcing a big price reduction.
If memory serves, overseas calls to Europe were previously $12.00 for
three minutes, about $60 in today's money. Around that time technology
was growing and they had finished a new high capacity underseas cable
(TAT-5?) that enabled the rate reductions. I seem to recall they made
a big deal about that particular cable. Anyone know more about
underseas cable technology of that era?

They also automated some parts of making the overseas calls. Just as
was done implementing domestic direct dialing, their first effort was
allowing US overseas operators to dial foreign points directly. Then
local operators could do it rather than going to a specialized
overseas operator. Finally customers could dial it themselves.

I wonder if they still have special overseas operators for oddball
places. They used to say that was the last bastion of traditional
cord switchboards for specialities like ship to shore telephone and
overseas calls to strange places. Note that back in 1972 when they
advertised these new lower rates, there were still many places in the
world you couldn't reach.

One frustration over today's system is that I have no idea what a call
would cost me. I have national unlimited, but anything else is a toll
call. I believe Canada for me is 35c a minute; I have no idea what a
a la carte call to England or Japan would be since I never make any.
In the old days I would simply ask the operator for the rates, but now
with the innumerable calling plans I don't think a long distance
operator would know.

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