RealTime IT News

Australian Internet Use Hits Telephony Charges

Australian Internet usage trends justify maintaining a 25 cent price tag on untimed local calls, according to Dr. Ziggy Switkowski, CEO of national telecommunications carrier Telstra.

The average duration of local calls has more than doubled over the past few years from three minutes to seven minutes, primarily because of the increasing amount of time Australians spend on the Internet.

The current rate for an untimed local call in Australia is AUS$0.25 within a given metropolitan area, such as Sydney.

Dr Switkowski disagreed with local criticism that untimed calls are priced too highly when compared with the norm of other countries. He said that Australian Internet usage was "holding up prices on a permanent basis."

He predicted that data volumes will increase 100 times over the next four years, at which time data traffic carried on its lines will be 20 times that of voice.