Media Release, 07 May 2020

Telstra sees network use soar in Queensland and nationally

Thursday 7 May 2020: Telstra has seen changes to the way Australians are using the fixed and mobile networks as more people work and study from home during COVID-19.

Telstra Regional General Manager May Boisen said Telstra’s networks are coping well with the changing usage patterns of our customers.

“Voice calls made across our combined networks have increased by as much as 40 per cent nationally and we’ve seen a 21 per cent increase in the number of mobile network text messages sent,” Ms Boisen said.

“We’ve seen daytime peak traffic on Telstra’s fixed network in Queensland jump by as much as 66 per cent when compared to pre-COVID.

“While daytime usage is up, it’s still significantly less busy than our typical evening peak traffic, which has also increased by about 13 per cent.[1]

“Gaming has been one of the largest contributors to individual daytime traffic growth on our fixed network, especially when new releases or game updates are pushed out.

“On the mobile network, daytime peak traffic in Queensland has increased by about 9 per cent but still isn’t as busy as typical evening peak periods so the network can easily handle it.[2]

“The big reason for the jump in daytime peak traffic comes from a rise in upload traffic – which is mainly generated from video calls, work meetings and online learning as many of our customers adjust to working and learning from home.”

Meantime, Telstra has announced more than 235,000 Queensland customers have already taken up or benefited from a number of customer support measures which are in place until 30 June 2020 including unlimited data on fixed broadband, extra data on mobile plans, discounts for those on JobSeeker benefits and waiver of late payment fees.

Telstra has also announced a series of support measures in the national interest including supporting the economy and employment.

“We’ve added thousands of temporary roles to help better serve our customers and play a part in supporting employment in Australia during this time,” Ms Boisen said.

“These new jobs are a mix of contact centre and back of house specialist roles covering a range of activities like customer service, order provisioning and team leaders.”

In a further boost to the economy, Telstra has fast-tracked $500 million in capital expenditure into this financial year to accelerate its network capacity and fast-track the roll out of 5G.

More information on Telstra’s response to COVID-19 can be found at Telstra Exchange

 

-ENDS-

Telstra Media contact: Danita Goodwin, State Media Manager (QLD)

E: media@team.telstra.com

Reference number: 049/2020

 

Further information on Telstra’s COVID-19 Response

Over 235,000 customers have already benefitted from the following customer support measures which are in place until 30 June 2020:

Unlimited data at no additional change for all consumer and small business broadband customers (ADSL, NBN and Cable).

  • An extra 25GB of data per month to use in Australian within 30 days for consumer and small business post-paid mobile customers (both handheld and mobile broadband). Customers can register for the bonus data via the Telstra 24x7 app or My Telstra apps until 30 June.
  • Unlimited local, national and 13/1300 calls, and calls to Australian mobiles for eligible pensioners with a Telstra home phone plan from their landline.
  • Discounts for eligible consumers and small business customers currently receiving the JobSeeker benefit.
  • A $30/month mobile offer for anybody with a valid Healthcare card or Pensioner concession card.
  • Support for small businesses through the option of suspending their fixed business services until they need them reinstated.
  • Waiver of late payment fees.
  • Bill Assistance

Telstra had also launched a bill assistance hub for customers to get information on its support measures and apply for relief if they are doing it tough because of COVID-19.

We understand that some customers may be struggling to pay their bills during this challenging time and we want to do what we can to help keep them connected. We have set up digital self-serve billing options to enable customers to request payment extensions, resolve queries and make changes to eligible plans.

 

Optimising your connection

There are some things Australians can do to tweak their home setup to ensure they’re getting the best Wi-Fi speed and coverage possible.

Telstra’s seven tips for optimising your Wi-Fi include:

  • Position your modem in a central location in the house
  • Establish a clear line of sight between the modem and your devices
  • Extend your Wi-Fi signal, if needed, with a Booster
  • Opt for a wired connection for some devices
  • Maintain good security
  • Ensure your devices are up to date
  • Avoid dropouts by ensuring you have the latest Smart Modem Gen 2 with 4G back-up,

Telstra will continue to review the impacts of COVID-19 on all its customers to help keep them connected and supported through this tough period.

 

[1] Comparison period for fixed network figures is week ending 5 April 2020 vs 1 March 2020

[2] Comparison period for mobile network figures is week ending 29 March 2020 vs 8 March 2020