Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Telecom changes don't go far enough


Telecom changes don't go far enough

Telecom's backdown on exorbitant charges for new telephone connections was welcomed by Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald today.

But Telecom was still profiteering with its decision to keep charging the same amount for second phone lines as for new connections, he said.

Telecom today announced its revised pricing structure for new telephone connections, capping the fee at $500 for most customers; in response to pressure from the Green Party, other politicians, local authorities and the public. However, high-cost connections would remain at one third of actual cost, so could be significantly higher than $500.

"I am pleased Telecom has listened to public outrage at the excessive charges," Mr Donald said, "but the Green Party still believes a universal charge should apply to every customer, whether they live in a city, a small town or the country.

"We are still outraged that Telecom is determined to sock it to existing customers by up to $500 to put a second line in the same home or an adjoining building. It smacks of profiteering.

"There's no way Telecom can justify charging $500 to put a second socket on the wall when they are using the existing cabling for the second line. They should recover capacity costs through their monthly rental charge."

Telecom's proposal to effectively "means-test" customers who could still not afford the new connection fees was also potentially concerning, Mr Donald said. "While it's good they're offering people on the lowest-incomes the opportunity to pay the lowest fee, it will be interesting to see how people's ability to pay will be tested. I'll be keeping an eye on it to ensure it's a fair test."

In today's announcement, Telecom said customers who could not afford the new standard connection fee would pay the lowest fee of $95, but would first have to be assessed by a "respected independent organisation". Telecom advised the Green Party today the detail of the assessment process had still to be worked out, and would probably be determined by the independent organisation.

Telecom also advised the Green Party that new connections of a second phone line for an existing home or adjacent building would still be charged at the same rate as a first connection. The relevant cost was the cost of adding the capacity of that additional phone line to the network, Telecom said. So if a homeowner in a low-density area installed two phone lines, the phone lines would cost $500 each.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news