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Telecom new connection price rise concern

Telecom new connection price rise concern

Economic, Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton is deeply concerned about the potential impact of Telecom’s increase in prices for new residential connections in regional New Zealand.

“I am deeply concerned about the potential social and economic development impacts on rural communities of these charges. My colleague, the Minister of Communications, Hon Paul Swain, is also aware of this issue and we have asked the Ministry of Economic Development to investigate further, particularly in light of the Kiwishare, and respond urgently to us.”

“We are working on the obligations imposed by the Kiwishare and I will meet with Telecom to discuss this issue and look for solutions that might help regional New Zealand,” said Jim Anderton.

New connections have gone from a flat rate of $61 regardless of where the connection is, to $95 in urban areas (75 per cent of connections), $250 in medium density areas and price on application in very hard to reach areas. Telecom will pay two thirds of the cost and the consumer will pay the rest.

There have been reports that in some rural areas such as Karamea on the West Coast of the South Island a new connection will cost up to $1500.

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