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International telephone rates cut



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PARLIAMEr jit ^, -f LIBRARY

INTERNATIONAL TELEPHQNE RATES CUT

JOINT STATEMENT WITH THE MINISTER ASSISTING THE TREASURER FOR PRICES, SENATOR NICK BOLKUS

The Government has approved an average 8 per cent cut in the cost of international telephone calls to 45 major overseas destinations.

The price cuts, which will apply to about 75 per cent of all international direct dialing (IDD) calls, are the key feature of a charging rate restructure by the Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (OTC) approved by Mr Willis last week.

Under the charging rate restructure IDD off-peak discounts, whidt currently apply to 29 major destinations, will be extended to a further 17 destinations. The cost of off-peak IDD calls to all 44 destinations will also be reduced from around 85 per cent of the peak rate to 70 per cent.

The restructure will also result in some IDD price increases, mainly to low traffic, high-cost destinations, and increases in the prices for some operator-connected calls.

Mr Willis and Senator Bolkus said the net benefit of the price changes to callers will be ix the order of $50 million in a full year.

"The price reductions are ceasistent with the Prices Surveillance Authority's recent recommendation to Government that general price reductions in international telephone service prices are warranted," the Ministers said.

The PSA's recommendation was in response to the Government's December 1988 direction to examine prices for the international telephone service.

"OTC has a history of decreasing its prices, and over the last decade average prices for international telephone calls have fallen steadily.

"In real terms IDD prices are now only about half of their level 10 years ago.

"The latest price reductions will mean that Australia will continue to enjoy some of the cheapest international telephone calls in the world."

OTC has notified the PSA of the reductions which are intended to take effect on 1 July 1989.

CANBERRA April. 5, 1989

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