Excessive home phone use to be limited

Excessive home phone use to be limited
# 13 April 2007 14:35 (UTC +04:00)
The Communications and Information Technologies Ministry has sent the Tariff Council the packages of proposals to increase subscription fee (from AZN 0.66 to AZN 1.10) and limit excessive telephone use this year.
The ministry suggested limiting the in-city calls for years while the government didn’t okayed proposals because the living standards of the population.
The ministry now intends to limit talks to 450 minutes a month.
Experts insist that transition to the payable system can harm vulnerable groups such as elderly, disabled people because long telephone conversation is important and useful for them. This move will also harm internet users-students. The Free Consumers Union chairman Eyyub Huseynov claims that people use telephones too much and the proposed 50 minutes a month is enough.
Those speaking under this limit will only pay the subscription fee but not any additional bill while those using home telephone over the limit will pay AZN 0.05 per excessive minutes.
People say the telephone communications will appreciate between 40% and 50% after limitation. According to the international experience, the operators have to send report to the customer about his account.
Some developed countries use fixed payment system while this machinery doesn’t work in Azerbaijan as the communications service is two times cheaper than the cost price and the ministry wants to fill the gaps with the high prices of international calls.
The subscription fee is AZN 0.7 a month while the cost price of the service is AZN 3.
The concern is that after the limitation the internet connection will be paid. 90% of users in Azerbaijan have access through dialup. The new system will also harm dialup unlimited connection. The way-out for he internet service providers and users is to resort to call back service.
In 2005 the ministry appealed to the providers to cancel dialup unlimited as this service holds phone lines busy all the day.
For example, ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) can replace the current services while there is difference in price.
Minimum monthly subscription fee for ADSL is AZN 52 while unlimited dialup is AZN 30. The problem remains open despite different views and proposals. /APA-Economics/