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VIEWPOINT: COMMON SENSE, MANNERS AND CONSIDERATION

I saw two stories over the news wire this week that made me wonder if wireless is heading the way of smoking as far as being labeled a public nuisance.

The first story was about how British Railways is planning to install a special metal-coating on the glass windows of its trains to prevent radio waves from passing through the carriages. This in response to passenger complaints about other passengers speaking too loud on cellular phones while riding the train.

The second story was about a study out of Tokyo often by another person’s mobile telephone use in a public place, because the user is speaking too loud.

The survey of 1,300 people noted that 17 percent of respondents were annoyed often by public wireless phone use, such as in malls and restaurants, and 58 percent were occasionally irritated. Reasons for irritation included loud voices, sudden and loud ringing sounds from the phone and people stopping to talk on their phones and blocking pedestrians’ path.

Makes me think of a rhyme:

If I can’t use it in my moving car,

how can I use it near or far?

I cannot use it on a train,

I cannot use it on a plane

I should not use it while I eat,

I should not use it on the street.

If I can’t use my wireless phone,

why don’t I leave the thing at home?

O.K. Leaving the phone at home is not the point. But show some common sense, manners and consideration for others while using it.

Speaking of consideration, AT&T Corp. should have a little bit more for its customers. The announcement this week the company would charge a minimum monthly long-distance charge to its low usage customers is shocking.

I guess the biggest fish in the pond doesn’t have time to waste on the smallest customers. Too bad. I happen to be one of those small guys and even though some months I don’t spend a dime on long distance, other months I may spend $40 or $50. I am not going to pay for those times I am not using service though. I guess some other carrier will get my $40.

SBC Communications Inc. released this comment on the AT&T charge:

“SBC has been working for years to get into long distance. When we’re able to compete in long distance, we will gladly serve those customers that AT&T is trying to shed.”

More power to you SBC. Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer before the promises of the telecom act become reality…

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