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Government welcomes Telecom announcement

Government welcomes Telecom announcement

Communications Minister Paul Swain, Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton and Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton have welcomed the new connection price structure announced by Telecom this morning.

“The government has always recognised that Telecom should be able to charge for new connections and re-connections to its network.

“But our concern was that some people in low density areas would have been facing a large financial obstacle to access a phone service and they may not have been able to afford to get a phone connected.

“This raised concerns about the ability of some people to access essential services.

“After two very constructive meetings we are pleased that Telecom has recognised these concerns. In our view the new charges are significantly fairer for people living in low population density areas than Telecom’s original proposal.”

“The improved charging regime will go a long way towards addressing the concerns of rural people. We also welcome Telecom’s announcement that it will extend its existing Budget Link concession programme to give people on low incomes the opportunity to pay the lowest new connection charge wherever they live.”

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