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Kiwis Demand Lower Mobile Termination Rates

DROP THE RATE, MATE!
(Airnet, Consumer New Zealand, Federated Farmers, the Federation of Maori Authorities, the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, the Telecommunications Users Association, 2degrees and Unite)

MEDIA RELEASE
Monday 2 November 2009
For Immediate Release

Kiwis Continue To Demand Lower Mobile Termination Rates

Kiwis continue to demand lower mobile termination rates with eighty-four percent of New Zealanders now saying that Telecom and Vodafone are ripping them off, according to Drop the Rate, Mate's second round of opinion polling released today.

The same study suggests that 74% of New Zealanders are aware that mobile phone charges are higher in New Zealand than in other countries, while 58% of Kiwis don't trust companies to lower their prices voluntarily.

The full Drop the Rate, Mate! poll results, which can be found at http://droptherate.org.nz/files/Drop-the-Rate-Mate-polling-October-2009.pdf, suggest a further rise in concern about unfair mobile phone pricing since the first poll in August.

Drop the Rate, Mate! is campaigning in favour of a draft Commerce Commission recommendation that the Government should establish stronger market rules to encourage competition in the mobile phone market in order to reduce both mobile and land-line prices.

The Commission is expected to finalise its recommendation in December, with a final decision being made by Communication and IT Minister Steven Joyce in the New Year. Mr Joyce has said he will not accept commercial offers from telecommunications companies once he receives the Commission's report.

A spokesman for Drop the Rate, Mate!, Matthew Hooton, said the ongoing polling work demonstrated that the Commerce Commission position and the Drop the Rate, Mate! campaign are strongly in line with public opinion.

"Mr Joyce will be able to take heart from this latest study, knowing that by accepting the Commerce Commission recommendation and not accepting commercial offers outside the process, he will also be acting in line with public opinion," Mr Hooton said.

The launch of Drop the Rate, Mate! was sponsored by Airnet, Consumer New Zealand, Federated Farmers, the Federation of Maori Authorities, the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, the Telecommunications Users Association, 2degrees and the Unite Union.

Since then, it has received support from nearly 9,000 New Zealanders through its website at www.droptherate.org.nz

The Curia study had a sample size of 429 and a margin of error at the 95% confidence level of ±4.8%.

ENDS

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