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Pay Phones Essential in Rural Australia

20 February 2006

Responding to reports today that Testra will cut its pay phones services, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is seeking a detailed explanation from Government and Telstra on how services will continue to be provided.

“Telstra has Universal Service Obligation’s (USO) it is required to meet as part of its licence condition, and so NFF would expect the Government to ensure this Obligation is upheld,” NFF President, Mr Peter Corish said today.

“Not all of rural Australia has mobile coverage and even where coverage exists not everyone has a mobile phone, particularly low income earners.

“Of course even if people have a mobile, basic pay phone services are essential in some cases, particularly emergencies.

“As a result, NFF is currently seeking to better understand how Telstra will fulfil its pay phone obligations under the Government USO,” Mr Corish said.

Media Enquiries: Emma Keogh, NFF Public Relations Officer, (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250.

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