EVN, telecom firms reach pole rental agreement

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State-owned power utility Electricity of Vietnam has reached an agreement with telecommunication firms over the use of its electric poles and rental fees.

The agreement ends a dispute that lasted for more than a year.

EVN has agreed to cut its proposed rental rates by 30-50 percent. The new rates, still more than twice as high as the previous ones, will be applied for the use of electric poles in 2009 and 2010.

Under the agreement, EVN's telephone subsidiary and other telecom firms will also share their roaming networks.

The dispute broke out early last year when major telecom firms, including state-owned VNPT and military-run Viettel, complained that the power utility was demanding unreasonable rent and threatened to remove their cables from the poles.

VNPT had at one point planned to work with Viettel to set up their own pole system.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had in April this year ordered EVN to continue sharing its poles with local telecommunication firms in public interest.

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