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Telecom Wants An End To Free Internet Calls
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Dateline: 2:00pm, 29 April, 2002
According to reports published today, Telecom is once again pushing to put an end to the free calling associated with Internet use.

The company believes that the ready availability of free Net calling is holding back the uptake of broadband services.

This latest attempt to strip the protection provided by the Kiwi Share agreement follows earlier moves to achieve the same end through the ill-managed introduction of the 0867 service.

According to radio reports this morning, Telecom is also claiming that its broadband is the cheapest in the group of OECD nations -- a claim strongly disputed by others.

Perhaps there is some disagreement over what constitutes "broadband", with many independent experts saying that Telecom's 128Kb/S JetStart (now JetStream Starter) does not qualify for the title.

Government IT Minister Paul Swain has dismissed any suggestion that government will be yielding to Telecom's pleas and releasing the company from its obligation under the Kiwi Share agreement.

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