Saturday, November 21, 2009

Calling Cuba

An advertisement appearing in today's NY Post newspaper shows consumers how little they can pay to make long distance telephone calls.

Comwave will connect you to friends and family in over 20 countries for one penny a minute. You can reach those important people in Russia, Poland, Italy, India, South Korea and China for 2.9 cents per minute.

However, the price of a phone call to many countries is a lot higher. Especially when the country is a police state or wildly remote. If you want to jabber with someone in Fiji, it will cost you 24.9 cents a minute. Calls to North Korea cost 41.9 cents a minute. Totalitarianism does not come cheap.

But the highest billing on the planet nails those who want to speak with people in the socialist paradise of Cuba, where a connection to one of Fidel's prisoners forces callers to pay a per-minute price of 79 cents. American have not seen rates like that since the earliest days of cell phones.

4 Comments:

Blogger no_slappz said...

After Fidel dies, there is a great possibility of Cuba getting cell phone coverage and satellite TV.

Would that be wild?

9:09 PM  
Blogger Winfred Mann said...

Why does it cost so much to call Cuba?

9:42 AM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

Winfred,

In the world of telephony, the local phone companies receiving a call charge a fee to those placing the call.

This was a huge issue in the US in the 1990s when the c-lec industry began to challenge the i-lec industry.

A c-lec is a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier and and i-lec is the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier, otherwise known as one of the Baby Bells.

The c-lecs based their business on the pricing advantage they offered subscribers.

The c-lecs and i-lecs both charge "termination fees", but the c-lecs offered better rates in addition to other services. However, the termination fee was always a very tiny amount. But as a result of the billions of phone calls placed by Americans every day, the tiny fees added up.

Cuba, on the other hand, rips off anyone it can. Since long distance calls to most of the countries in the western hemisphere are billed at a few pennies a minute, I assume that Cuba hits callers for about 75 of the 79 cents charged to Americans calling friends and family still living on the island prison.

Not so different from the prison phone rates charged here. I am acquainted with a prisoner -- a college classmate of my sister's. It is a disgrace that the prison system charges outrageous rates for calls between inmates and the outside world.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Winfred Mann said...

Cuba sounds more like greedy capitalists. rotfl

6:28 PM  

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