10 Aug 2004

Fiji economist criticises massive increases in local phone line rentals

10:08 am on 10 August 2004

A leading Fiji economist says lower telecommunications charges could create 10- to 20-thousand new jobs in call centres and similar back office operations.

Professor Wadan Narsey's comments follow the Commerce Commission taking over responsibility for setting prices for all telecommunications services in Fiji.

This includes local, international and mobile calls as well as Internet services.

The commission will undertake a review of all such charges and is calling for public submissions on the issue.

The move comes as Telecom Fiji has announced its intention to increase line rental charges by more than one thousand per cent, in what it describes as a "re-balancing" exercise.

Professor Narsey says he hopes the public raises strong objections to the new charges.