Primus pushes Telstra lawsuit into 2006

Telecomms company Primus' planned lawsuit against Telstra over what it sees as the heavyweight's unreasonable wholesale telephone line rental charges is unlikely to reach the Federal Court until 2006. "Nothing has been lodged with the Federal Court yet," a spokesperson for Primus told ZDNet Australia today.

Telecomms company Primus' planned lawsuit against Telstra over what it sees as the heavyweight's unreasonable wholesale telephone line rental charges is unlikely to reach the Federal Court until 2006.

"Nothing has been lodged with the Federal Court yet," a spokesperson for Primus told ZDNet Australia today. "The case is still in preparation stage."

The news comes as Primus' competitor iiNet -- which also resells Telstra's wholesale phone lines -- has raised its own line rental charges by AU$3.41 to AU$33.36 per month, citing increased pricing from Telstra.

"Telstra Wholesale has increased the price of their wholesale phone line rental service to iiNet and all other resellers of Telstra's service by AU$3.41," the Perth-based telco's Web site currently states.

"iiNet does not agree with the increase, and we are vigorously fighting it. However with already slim margins in reselling Telstra's phone service, it's regrettable that this cost must be passed onto customers."

However Primus denied it was likely to follow iiNet and raise prices.

"[There are] no plans to lift line rentals," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, line rental has also been at the top of mind for Federal Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan. The minister issued a statement last night saying Telstra would be forced to introduce a basic end-user line rental product at the same price, no matter where a phone user lived.

"This requirement will ensure that [price] parity is maintained without compromising Telstra's capacity to introduce new pricing packages or to respond to competition," said Senator Coonan in a statement.

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