Latest price hikes will see Telstra reap AUD200 annually

24 May 2004

The finance director of wireline incumbent Telstra has told a Senate committee that the telco expects to gain AUD200 million annually by increasing line rental charges next month. Managing Director of Finance and Administration John Stanhope also admitted to the committee that Telstra is introducing charges for customers who pay their bill by credit card, ‘because we are able to,’ as the Reserve Bank of Australia does not object. The change in tariffs, which will come into force on 1 June, will see basic line rental rise by AUD1.50 a month to AUD28 and means that Telstra’s basic access charges have now risen by almost 300% since the turn of the millennium. Tariffs are set to go higher still following a mandate from the Competition and Consumer Commission to push the monthly charge as high as AUD32 by mid-2005.