News : Telstra Warns of Increased Outages as More Work from Home
Sydney, Australia, March 24, 2020 -- Telstra’s mobile network has been strained by unprecedented demand as more Australians than ever work from home.
Users around the Sydney CBD have reported major outages in the past days, with some saying only a small number of calls have gone through on the first attempt.
A Telstra spokesperson told 7NEWS that, in particular, calls to 13 or 1800 numbers are experiencing increased congestion due to the high number of people attempting to contact government lines.
"As more people work from home and schools close, we are seeing demand on our network increase daily and this will continue," the spokesperson said.
The telco provider says overall mobile call volumes on certain routes and geographies are up by more than 50 per cent, while government call centres are experiencing over 20 times normal call volume.
"Working with Optus, we are also trying to fast track upgrades to our interconnection capabilities which is contributing to this congestion and we are continuing to push for a resolution urgently with them," the spokesperson said.
Jobs to fill
Telstra has revealed it is looking for more than 1,000 new employees to help manage the huge workload at its call centres.
The telco says unprecedented demand has put increased pressure on its networks.
It will hire more than 1,000 locally-based temporary employees to manage call centre volumes.
The telco provider said it was also bringing forward capital expenditure from FY21 to increase network capacity during the pandemic, and help accelerate the rollout of its 5G network.
Chief executive Andy Penn said while the virus would likely have an impact on the company’s balance sheet going forward, it was important for big business to "show leadership and contribute to the national response".
Telstra said small businesses and consumers unable to pay their bills would not be charged late fees or disconnected until at least the end of April, at which point the company will review further.
These measures are in addition to unlimited data allowances on fixed broadband and extra mobile data for Telstra’s consumer and small business customers, as well as extra paid leave for Telstra employees and casuals.
The 1,000 temporary staff hires will help the company handle a spike in call centre volumes.
Telstra has invited Qantas workers to apply.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Telstra Incorporated is a global provider of advanced communications services to multinational corporations.
Published: Thursday, March 26, 2020
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