Telecom bows to public pressure over tariff plan

13 Oct 2004

Incumbent Telecom Fiji is rethinking plans for a controversial three-tier line rental scheme following a hostile public reception to the proposal, according to the Fiji Times. The country’s Consumer Council was among those strongly opposed to the plan, saying that, if approved, it would have contravened the government’s pledge to reduce telecoms charges by 15% in 2005. Telecom Fiji chairman Lionel Yee confirmed that the plan had been withdrawn, adding that a new proposal will be submitted in November, promising ‘much lower’ charges than the initial draft. Much of the opposition came from lower income users, who were upset that they would have to pay increased line rental to receive cheaper call tariffs. ‘We are trying to address the issue of those on the lower end so that the impact on them is a lot lower,’ said Mr Yee. ‘If they make the calls then yes, we are proposing that they get savings too.’