Telecommunications

Vocabulary in Conversation

Fill in all the gaps using the new vocabulary, then click the "Check" button to check your answers.
   carriers      competition      deregulation      fee      hooked up      installed      monopoly      suburbs      telecommunications      to place calls   
Sandra: Tony, I just moved into my new apartment, and I need to have the phone . I have no idea what I am doing; I have to make all these decisions about local, local long-distance, and long-distance .

Tony: I know - it's really complicated. In America, we have somewhere between five and ten thousand long-distance telephone companies. It's good for , but sometimes I think we have too much choice! It was easier before in the early eighties. The industry has become far too confusing, but at least prices have really gone down in the last twenty years.

Sandra: Why do I need to choose more than one company?

Tony: We divide telephone service into three categories: local, local long-distance, and long-distance. Your long-distance company allows you to call foreign countries, other American states, and other cities in your state. Your local long-distance company allows you to call or regions just outside your city. And, of course, your local company allows you within your own city.

Sandra: But they only asked me to choose a local long-distance company and a long-distance company. Don't I get to choose my local service?

Tony: In Southern California, we really don't have much choice yet when it comes to local service. It's still basically a .

Sandra: Is it really expensive to make local telephone calls then? How much does it cost per minute?

Tony: Actually, for most people, local calls do not have a per-minute charge. You pay your local telephone company a monthly service of around ten to fifteen dollars for your local service, but then you don't have to pay per minute.

Sandra: You don't pay per minute? That's amazing! In my country, I normally have to pay a lot of money for local calls.

Tony: I rarely pay more than twenty dollars a month for local, local long-distance, and long-distance combined. It's so cheap that I had an extra telephone line for my daughter.
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