Australia’s Telstra fined by regulator

10 January 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


Australian telecom giant Telstra has been fined A$510,000 ($453,000) by the country’s telecoms regulator for failing to connect new landline customers on time.

Telstra failed to hit the customer service guarantee benchmarks for fixed-line connections, repairs and attendance of appointments with customers in the regulator’s annual assessment.

Under federal law, Telstra is required to connect new urban customers within two days. The regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), said Telstra had only connected 88.6% of new connections on time, below the ACMA's 90% benchmark.

The ACMA reported that when deciding the penalty, it had taken Telstra’s early response and its open engagement with the regulator into account. The regulator said that it also took into account that extreme weather events affected Telstra’s fixed-line network during the period in question.

“I welcome Telstra’s improvements already implemented and its commitments to the ACMA to further improve its internal governance in these areas of operations, as well as its operational processes and systems,” ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman said.

“Last year, we faced unprecedented damage to our network from natural disasters,” Telstra said. “We are continually investing in the network and learning how to better avoid and recover from these extreme events, to minimise disruption and inconvenience to our customers.”