| Episode #:
Show: National 9
Airdates: Feb - Aug (see
Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)
Major Carriers Raising Long Distance Rates
As the era of falling long distance rates and fierce
competition between the major carriers comes to an end, lean and aggressive companies
like OPEX meet the need for
competitive long distance rates. These up-and-coming companies battle the major
carriers by offering low rates and superb customer service. |
Lynette Romero & Mark Kriski On camera
At times it seems everything about our lives has been overtaken by high technology.
Yet, one of the most important devices in our lives is over a century old. It’s
the telephone. Even today, no matter how much time we use complex high-technology
devices, we still use the telephone more.
One of the most important functions of the telephone is long distance calling.
The ability to call people anywhere, regardless of the distance, has been a primary
and powerful benefit of the telephone. Historically, long distance phone rates
had been high, but they were falling over the past two decades because of competition.
That is all changing now. Here with the story is <correspondent name>.
“Long distance calling.” There was a time when anything a few miles away
was considered a “long distance call.” A century ago, trying to reach someone
a long distance away meant sending a telegraph message, a “cable”, or a letter.
Now, we think nothing about picking up our phone and calling someone half a world
away. Well, we think nothing about it EXCEPT when it’s time to choose a long distance
carrier for our phone.
INTERVIEW ALL 3 EXECUTIVES TOGETHER, IN ONE SETTING, AS A TRIO
Tom Jacobs is the CEO of OPEX Communications, a long distance provider. What do
consumers want from their long distance carrier?|
How does OPEX give those consumers what they want?
CORRESPONDENT: Sean Trepeta
is president of OPEX Communications. What distinguishes OPEX from larger, better-known
carriers like AT&T, MCI, and Sprint?
Background: Old telephones, telephone wires,
Until a couple decades ago, telephone service was simple. There was one phone
company in your area, and they handled everything. You called them and they handled
all of the installation, they provided the phone, they provided all of the local
and long distance service. In the early '80s, Bell Telephone, the largest phone
company, was broken up. Things began to change. Competition flooded the marketplace
and long distance rates began to go down. Until recently. After years of rate
reductions from the major long distance companies, those companies are now quietly
reversing the trend and raising the cost of long distance. Fortunately for consumers,
smaller, leaner long distance companies have emerged to offer lower rates and
competitive service. OPEX Communications is the new breed of lean, competitive
long distance companies.|
(resource: John Wonak, CFO, OPEX)
The major long distance carriers are raising their rates. How are they doing this,
and why? |
JOHN WONAK: <refer to L.A.
Times article “Long-Distance Rates to Rise in New Year”, Dec 27 2001.
How does OPEX keep its rates low?
Footage: Consumer at computer, surfing net; Telephone
company equipment grid
Based in Chicago, Illinois, OPEX, which stands for “Operational Excellence”, markets
traditional long distance service through the Internet. Begun in 1998, the company
uses the efficiencies of the Internet to provide customer service, billing, provisioning,
and network services. By using its access to the common infrastructure used by
the major carriers, OPEX provides competitive service.
(Resource: Tom Jacobs, CEO, OPEX)
How is the long distance service provided by OPEX competitive with the major carriers?
What is the history of OPEX?
CORRESPONDENT: What communications
services does OPEX offer?
CORRESPONDENT: How competitive
are your rates?
In today’s world of instant communication, the telephone remains the most reliable
and common device available. Long distance service is a key to our communications,
and the rates of the major carriers are now beginning to rise. As major carriers
raise their rates, companies like OPEX Communications will provide long distance
service at lower rates for the same quality of service. For Business World News,
I'm <correspondent name>.