A spokesman for Fijian local and long-distance operator Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL) says that its decision to increase local call charges from FJD0.12 per minute to FJD0.16 per minute was ‘inevitable’ given the high cost of owning, operating, maintaining and upgrading its access networks. The comments from TFL’s Marketing Manager Vanessa Kilner are in swift rebuttal to a statement by the Consumer Council of Fiji that attacked the increase in charges. TFL went on to point out rising inflation in the country (the figure now stands at 9.4%) and noted that its previous call rates had been ‘stagnant at FJD0.12 per call since the company was privatised in 1996. Moreover, Ms Kilner pointed to the fact that Fiji’s local call rates are ‘among the cheapest’ when compared to other Pacific Island countries. The increase became effective 1 May.