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The telephone will be of use to the people of the reserve, but it is also going to cost. The cost per household will be a whopping $400.
The Sask-Tel payment plan does not necessarily say that you have to pay the whole amount in one shot. But it still will cost $100 down as the first down payment then you have the option of paying it off over a period of three years at $10 a month plus your phone rental of $4.90 per month and all the calls.
So for the first three years the householder will have to pay $10 plus all their calls.
Sask-Tel informed me that all calls into Meadow Lake and surrounding district will be local and not long distance as the people had anticipated.
It was understood that there would be a party line but how many to a line was the question. Sask-Tel has informed me that there were ample lines to go around and that there would be four to a line-it all depends on how many people want a phone.
A telephone booth will be located outside the band office for the public and that would also have its own private line.
When I asked about the numbers to be assigned and when the phones would be operational, I was informed that they did not have any numbers assigned yet and that Sask-Tel hopes to have the phones working in the latter part of December.
The people of Waterhen are wondering what the hold up is, they had expected them operational this fall already.