New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has reduced the cost of the Telecommunication Service Obligation (TSO) for the 2004/05 year. The TSO gathers funds from major telcos and these are then used to help pay for the provision of services to rural areas. The cost of the TSO has been set at NZD52 million (USD35 million) for 2004/05, down from the initial estimate of NZD71.4 million. Telecom New Zealand contributes 69% of the total cost of the TSO, with Vodafone and TelstraClear making up most of the remainder. Smaller carriers WorldxChange, CallPlus, Compass Communications, Teamtalk and ihug also contribute.