Rez reps call around for cheaper long-distance rates

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By Irene Papakonstantinou

Students living in residence may have a cure for their long-distance woes.

RyeSAC’s residence council president, Shannon Shorey, has a proposal from a communications company for cheaper long-distance.

This could be brought in for students in residence if RyeSAC and the school’s administration support it.

Because Ryerson phone lines work on an extension system, residents have the same long-distance plan as the school and have to pay regular Bell rates for calls.

The proposal from Single Source offers students a prepaid phone card that can be used anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area. Single Source would give students cheaper rates without affecting Ryerson’s phone service.

The phone card allows international calls with different rate charges based on the country.

“It almost works like a Bell calling card, only the rates don’t vary [within Canada],” Shorey said.

One possibility is to sell the card through RyeSAC, Shorey said, giving residents the option of which service to use.

The least expensive card would be $11 and would give 20 minutes of calls within Canada. The rates get better as you go up in price denominations, up to $60 for 360 minutes of calls in the country.

“I have family in Brockville and in Ottawa,” Shorey said. “Any type of discount would be nice.”

As it stands, Shorey said she pays 38 cents a minute to call her family, with a 35 per cent discount after 6 p.m. and 60 per cent off after 11 p.m. and weekends.

Since November, residence students have been able to sign up with London Telecom for cheaper long-distance rates, but Shorey said the limits on where and when calls can be made are more restrictive.

Shorey said Ryerson would likely lose money in long-distance revenue if students flock to companies other than Bell for service.

“If you’re losing a lot of revenue, you have to make up for it somehow.”

Shorey said one possibility or the school to make up the fall in revenue is by raising the cost of phone rental to students in residence. If this route is taken, all students would be paying more in residence fees, whether they used Single Source or not.

Renee Lemieux, head of Ryerson’s computing and communications services, said she can’t comment on whether the university would increase phone rental charges until she has been officially informed of Single Source’s proposal.

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