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Telecom profits make rural charges more outrageous

Telecom profits make rural charges even more outrageous

Telecom's just-released net quarterly profit of $146 million made the company's plans to charge rural connection fees of up to $4000 all the more outrageous, Green co-leader Rod Donald said today.

"This profit announcement shows that Telecom is doing just fine, thank you very much, and the decision to so heavily increase rural connection charges is nothing more than shameless profiteering and the exploitation of rural communities," said Mr Donald.

From November 1 connection charges for city dwellers increased from $61 to $95, less populated areas rose to $250 and rural dwellers up to $4000.

"Telecom has both a civic and a moral obligation to the people of this country to ensure that access to a telephone is affordable. The company is already making hundreds of millions of dollars in profits every year and there is no justification for these huge price hikes.

"Eventually, especially in rural areas, these massive cost hikes will prevent some people from having their own phone, with all the negative consequences arising from that," he said.

"There is just no excuse for this blatant corporate greed and, once again, the Greens call on Telecom to be a good corporate citizen, recognise the importance of the service they provide and ditch these greedy price hikes."

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