Telstra wins rural services contract

The Federal Government has chosen Telstra to provide remote Australia with basic services as part of a $150 million dollar project to improve telecommunications services in the outback. Telstra has been given the go ahead to supply services such as untimed local phone calls in remote areas mostly in Western Australia and Queensland. Apart from Telstra, other telco companies including Optus, Pacific Telco and Heartland Communications (an associate company of the National Farmers Federation) also submitted proposals in an attempt to clinch the contract. Currently, people living in remote areas pay timed rates for making local calls to their nearest town or neighbour, this will change under the project. Rural residents will also be able to gain Internet connection using an untimed local call to their Internet Service Provider.

‘Telstra wins plum contract', The Australian, 14/02/01, pp 1 & 2.