Telecom Italia Domestic Wireline today unveils "Ricomincio da te", a brand-new sales package tailor-made for Italian residential customers. The objective is to further promote the Unit´s strategy, based on real customer needs and in respect of the fundamental economic rules that apply market-wide to telecommunications.
Italy´s residential customers to save
"Ricomincio da te" enables Italian residential customers to take advantage of significant price breaks and of particularly advantageous terms for access to innovative telecommunications services. The package is being introduced at the same time as the previously-announced increase to telephone network subscription charges, which was decided upon in the wake of the resolution on tariff rebalancing requested by the European Commission last year. Overall expenditure on telephone bills is expected to fall by more than 100 billion lire annually. There are also special benefits available to the less affluent.
New telephone subscription charges for "residential use"
As a result of the ruling by the Communications Regulatory Authority regarding Price Cap levels, in acceptance of recommendations by the European Commission with regard to tariff rebalancing, subscription to the general telephone network charges for residential customers increase on 1 February 2002 from the current rate of 20,700 lire per month excluding VAT to 22,000 lire per month (+6.3%) excluding VAT. There is no change to subscription fees for businesses and for ISDN connections.
Even after this change, residential subscription charges for access to the Telecom Italia telephone network are among the lowest in Europe.
This move is of key significance in a market such as telecommunications which is now well on its way to complete liberalization. For many years the subscription fees raised by Telecom Italia were insufficient to cover the fixed costs arising from network maintenance and upgrading so vital for us all to be able to stay in touch every hour of the day and night.
A resolution of this anomaly, known as "the telephone network access deficit", has been eagerly sought by the European Union in all its member states. This is another step along the path to the complete rebalancing of the cost of accessing Telecom Italia´s telephone network.
Despite the slight increase in subscription fees, call charges are moving in the other direction. The average Italian family will save in excess of 1,700 lire (excluding VAT) on their telephone calls. This is how:
* One hour of local calls free every two-month billing period, and free subscription to innovative services
"Ricomincio da te" offers residential customers one hour of free local calls every two-month billing period, and will enable home users to use their domestic phone without paying any supplementary subscription charges for voicemail services, information services at 400, Ringback on busy and the service that enables people to send and receive SMS text messages on the Telecom Italia fixed-line network and from TIM mobile phones.
There is no need for subscribers to make any specific requests to take advantage of these benefits.
* Weekend rate extended to weekday calls: 50 lire per minute (excluding VAT) from 6.30 PM to 8 AM every day for all inter-district long-distance calls
In February 2001 Telecom Italia launched its tariffa week end: 50 lire per minute (excluding VAT) for all calls to numbers starting with a different area code made on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. To further promote calls between home users, this tariff has been extended to all off-peak inter-district long-distance calls, that is to say between 6.30 PM and 8 AM, every day of the week. This is a saving of 45 lire (-47.3%) excluding VAT on the previous price of 95 lire per minute excluding VAT.
Low-income households: concessions for 1.5 million households
From 1 December 2001, in accordance with an Authority ruling, Telecom Italia has brought in a 50% reduction in the cost of accessing the telephone network for families who experience specific economic and social hardship. This initiative affects around 1.5 million homes across Italy where the (ISEE) socio economic equivalent indicator does not exceed 13 million lire, and where income is either from a pension or an invalidity allowance. It also includes households containing a person aged over 75, or where the head of the family is unemployed. A consequence of this change, pursuant to the Authority ruling, is that it is no longer possible for customers to subscribe under the preferential terms of the "low traffic" subscription contract.
A further new development from 1 December is a total exemption from monthly subscription charges for domestic customers who use equipment for the hard of hearing (DTS in the Italian acronym).