National Geographic : 1914 Oct
Fair Play in Telephone Rates IT is human nature to resent paying more than any one else and to demand cheap telephone service re gardless of the cost of providing it. But service at a uniform rate wouldn't be cheap. It would simply mean that those making a few calls a day were paying for the service of the merchant or corporation handlinghundreds of calls. That wouldn't be fair, would it? No more so than that you should pay the same charge for a quart of milk as another pays for a gallon. To be of the greatest usefulness, the telephone should reach every home, office and business place. To put it there, rates must be so graded that every person may have the kind of service he requires, at a rate he can easily afford. Abroad, uniform rates have been tried by the government-owned sys tems and have so restricted the use of the telephone that itis of smallvalue. The great majority of Bell subscrib ers actually pay less than the average rate. There are a few who use the telephone in their business for their profit who pay according to their use, establishing an average rate higher than that paid by the majority of the subscribers. To make a uniform rate would be increasing the price to the many for the benefit of the few. All may have the service they re quire, at a price which is fair and rea sonable for the use each makes of the telephone. These are reasons why the United States has the cheapest and most efficient service and the largest number of telephones in the world. AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY AND ASSOCIATED COMPANIES One Policy One System Universal Service "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you.