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 radio, in 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 carrier that we've always used, or our parents or friends have always used
paying whatever we got charged, because "Big Three" rates were generally same or close.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this either, I mean just because a choice is available,
isn't 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 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 new "big boys" on block. They have done this by purchasing long
distance usage on existing lines and switches at volume discounts, so as to offer lower rates