The government was not persuaded by Telstra's argument that Web surfers needed to be time-charged for Internet calls to cut usage and to prevent major congestion on the country's telephony networks.
The thumbs-down comes in a 600-page Telecommunications Bill to be debated by the Senate mid-month. One substantial and contentious issue still to be resolved is the current practice of both Telstra and its rival Optus Communications to string much of their pay-TV cable above ground. Another is the siting of mobile satellite phone towers near residential areas.
Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.