Consumer anger over Telstra price rise

Telstra's plan to increase phone line rentals has provoked a backlash from Labor and farmer and pensioner representative groups. Telstra announced a $2.26 line rental price rise yesterday, which the telco is offsetting by providing discounts to customers who opt to hand and pay all their bills online. However, Opposition deputy leader Simon Crean said not everyone had access to the Internet. Pensioner groups have also criticised the move believing the telco is discriminating against people without Internet access. NSW Farmer's Association chief executive Jonathan McKeown said the majority of rural residents would not be able to afford the hardware required for Internet access and therefore would not benefit from the discounts. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has supported Telstra's new pricing plan.

‘Farmers, aged attack Telstra fees', The Daily Telegraph, 19/01/01, p 8.