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RE: Price of WCAG attendance in Big Macs (Was RE: "You call that a standard?" and Charter)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 04:09:54 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Gian Sampson-Wild (PurpleTop)" <gian@purpletop.com.au>
Cc: "'Yvette P. Hoitink'" <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>, 'WAI-GL' <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0405040400190.16470@homer.w3.org>

In Australia I pay AUD 6 / hour (that's about 4 euros, and a little more than
half the minimum wage, but I have no idea how many big macs) to call the US
with a pretty standard subscription. There are cheaper solutions available

Generally I buy a discount phone card and it costs me about 2 beers (6 in the
"third world" where the beer is cheap by foreigners' standards) in a country
where I don't have a real subscription.

e.g. Spain: 10 euros covers 4 calls (6 hours). UK 5 pounds gets me about 2.

There are also Voice over IP services for those lucky enough to have
reasonable bandwidth - W3C uses it a lot for people who work from home. But I
don't have the bandwidth myself. It works out at around the above-quoted

(The problem with the big mac standard is that while they are cheap food for
poor people in the US, they are relatively more of a luxury item in some
places. It works better for travellers than it does for measuring local
price in local terms. And for some definition of luxury :-)



On Tue, 4 May 2004, Gian Sampson-Wild (PurpleTop) wrote:

>The Netherlands - 10 Big Macs per month
>Australia - 46 Big Macs per month
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
>Behalf Of Yvette P. Hoitink
>Sent: Tuesday, 4 May 2004 5:12 AM
>To: 'WAI-GL'
>Subject: Price of WCAG attendance in Big Macs (Was RE: "You call that a
>standard?" and Charter)
>Gian wrote:
>> I, too am from a small company and can add to the discussion
>> that the cost of the teleconferences (approx $30 a call) can
>> sometimes be prohibitive.  There is very little likelihood of
>> me ever attending a face-to-face meeting, unless it is in
>> Australia, and I do feel that sometimes I cannot contribute
>> as much as I would like due to that fact.
>Hi Gian,
>You're absolutely right in your remark. I didn't take the telephone
>into account in my reaction. My WCAG phone bills used to be around 30
>USD as
>well, but I now have a new carrier with an introduction offer of 1
>per minute (about 1.2 dollarcent).
>This means the monthly cost of attending the WCAG teleconferences
>at 8 hours per month) is about 2 Big Macs for me at the moment, or 10
>Macs if I used the standard phone company or once the introduction is
>I use the number of Big Macs to represent the purchasing power of the
>monthly phone bill in my country. Big Mac is one of the few products
>that is
>available in exactly the same composition worldwide, which is why it is
>often to compare prices.
>It would be interesting to compare the number of Big Macs that 8 hours
>phone calls to the US cost in different countries to get an idea of the
>costs involved. I'll start the list:
>The Netherlands - 10 Big Macs per month
>Yvette Hoitink
>Heritas, Enschede, The Netherlands
>E-mail: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl
>WWW: http://www.heritas.nl

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
SWAD-E http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe         fax(france): +33 4 92 38 78 22
 Post:   21 Mitchell street, FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia    or
 W3C, 2004 Route des Lucioles, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Tuesday, 4 May 2004 04:09:57 UTC

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