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Farmers Sick Of Paying For "Free" Local Calls

A farmer sick of paying high Telecom bills for local calls has disagreed with Telecom that the rural sector doesn't pay its share.

Lyn Milnes who farms thirty minutes south of Manukau City in Waikato says many farmers are situated on the edge of Telecom zones. That means some of their local calls to local services and near neighbours may be charged as tolls.

"We have never had the "local call" benefits of the Kiwi Share," she said. "Pukekohe, which is fifteen minutes away, is our closest shopping and working area, but because Telecom has its zones centred on the major towns, our "local" calls regularly cost us $150 to $200 a month."

She says her shopping place and workplace in South Auckland has for years been a toll call, two zones away, and so is her nearest grocer or petrol station.

The only free calls available to her are the 4000 subscribers in Huntly, which is twenty minutes drive away to the south.

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