How Can Long Distance Be So Low?

How Can Long Distance Be So Low?

by Greg Hicks

Long distance... why is it that you hear this phrase bandied about so often today? On television,

on the radio, in the newspaper. There was a time not too long ago when phone service was only

thought of as that... phone service. We did not think about a local phone company AND a long

distance carrier. We got it all on one bill from one provider.

Now we have a choice.

"Oh yes", you say, "we can choose MCI, AT&T, or Sprint". Yes, we have these companies to

provide quality, reliable long distance service for our homes or businesses. And they have been

there for us for many years, with an ongoing rivalry between themselves, but we generally chose

and stayed with the carrier that we've always used, or our parents or friends have always used

paying whatever we got charged, because the "Big Three" rates were generally the same or close.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this either, I mean just because a choice is available,

isn't the choice to not change there as well?

Now, think of long distance service as a product. It is after all, correct? And as in any other

industry, buying product in bulk, enables the buyer to get a lower purchase price. You and I

cannot buy phone service in bulk, but certain businesses can, and it is these businesses that have

risen up to become the new "big boys" on the block. They have done this by purchasing long

distance usage on the existing lines and switches at volume discounts, so as to offer lower rates

and fees to the customer; you and I. Huh? To put it in other terms, the long distance usage

offered by these companies is constantly purchased in such high volume, that the cost is very

low. They are physically smaller companies, so the amount of employees, overhead, advertising

and other business related costs are lower than that of a giant like AT&T. The service that is

provided is still carried over the same phone lines and switches that your current long distance

company uses, so there is absolutely no deterioration in call quality or reliability.

Today, even though there is now adequate competition to drive prices as low as they can go, rest

assured, they will go up. Now is the time to evaluate our carriers and compare them to others out

there who can offer the same levels of service, but at savings of up to 70%. MCI, AT&T, SPrint

will always be around, but it is competition that is the driving force behind improved product and

service for you, the consumer.

Author: Greg Hicks
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