Telstra have certain charges.
$59 – Connection Fee to connect an inplace operational connection at a previously lived in residence.
$125 – Connection Fee to connect an existing line, where there is work required to be done on the connection to bring about a working service.
$200+ – Connection fee to get a second line installed.
Now, here are the processes involved in MOST of those jobs, keeping in mind that the post isn’t intended to be attacking the technicians doing the work, but more to it, the charges being charged by Telstra.
Further, keep in mind the work behind this is relatively simple, requiring little more than joining copper wire, and attaching fittings to the customer premise.
And more to it, Telstra have claimed repeatedly that the copper network it proudly claims ownership of, has been paid for back to taxpayers via dividends multiple times.
The work involved:
Connection at an previously lived in residence with dial tone:
Enter data into its system to assign a telephone number to that cable, and further data entry into the accounting system. The work is done by computers, no physical work involved in most cases, simply behind the scenes data entry and configuration.
Connection at a place where work is required to supply the service:
Figure out where the fault with connection is on the cable path and correct it. Most cases this couldn’t take more than 1 hour, by simply identifying where the pairs join together, and verifying the cable at the point of connection, and the exchange.
Some work may be required, like opening a pillar, and unattaching, reattaching and testing power / line signal at various points, so some knowledge of the pillar might be required.
Connection of a second line:
Attach the second pair of the copper wire to the cable path, and attach the cable pair to the exchange, recording details of the cable joins (if needed).
Visit customer premise, find the point of interconnection, and split the second pair already in the cable off to a new socket.
As you can see, the work involved doesn’t have a HIGH cost, or a VERY HIGH level of expertise, the work is not so difficult, but more so, requires thought, and due care (as does many jobs).
So, without devaluing the technician’s who do a job of keeping the infrastructure running, how much does Telstra really need to charge for a second line, considering the infrastructure is paid for, and the work isn’t HIGHLY skilled.
I’d expect to pay a skilled mechanic more than a line technician (simply, they can’t believe they are worth $200+ for one hours work).
And before anyone jumps in and says its to cover the costs of maintaining the line, what on earth does Line Rental go to?
I somewhat doubt the charges reflect the true costs. Sure, the work is not entirely cheap, but seriously.. $59 for data entry? I wish I got paid that much for a 15 minute phone call..