Telstra to hike line rental, call prices

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Telstra to hike line rental, call prices

Network investments blamed for price increases.

Telstra will raise its monthly phone line rental charges from October 1 to account for the increased investment it is making in its network, the telco said today.

The increases will affect BusinessLine PSTN and ISDN customers as well as home phone customers, with some call rates also set to increase.

Most PSTN BusinessLine customers and some home phone users will be charged an extra $2 per month, while home phone budget plan users will see a $1 per month increase in their line rental.

Telstra will also increase the call connection fee on some home and business plans for timed national, international and mobile calls to 55 cents. The charge for calls to 13-numbers from landlines will also increase to 40 cents per call.

Home phone budget customers with the pensioner discount will get a number of additional call types included as part of a $3.50 monthly call discount, which is aimed at offsetting the increases. These include national calls, calls to Australian mobiles, international calls and calls to 13-numbers.

Customers affected by the changes can expect a letter in the mail later this month.

“We understand that there is never a good time to increase prices. We don’t make these decisions lightly. Our updated pricing reflects the ongoing investment in our network to provide voice services across Australia,” Telstra’s fixed voice and premium service director Jennifer Douglas said in a blog post.

The increases come less than a week after Telstra chief executive Andy Penn committed to investing more than $5 billion in the telco's mobile network over the next three years, in his first major speech since taking the job.

Telstra is also set to build 429 new base stations and 250 mini-4G base stations as part of the federal government’s regional blackspots program, with the carrier contributing $165 million of its own money to the build over three years.

The last major price increases were in 2013, when users on the telco’s BusinessLine plans saw their monthly access charges rise by up to $2, as did those on the HomeLine Plus, Advanced and Together plans.

iTnews has contacted Telstra for further detail on the price hikes.

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