Telecommunications provider, Telstra, yesterday paid the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) an administrative penalty of $510,000 for failing to provide timely new urban landline customer connections in the 2012 to 2013 financial year.
ACMA issued the infringement notice to the Telstra following its annual assessment of Telstra's compliance with the Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) benchmarks which, under the Telecommunications (CSG) Standard 2011, require service providers to meet standards surrounding safeguards for fixed-line telephone service customers for connecting a service, repairing a fault, or service difficulty.
Of the nine benchmarks, two were not met. The infringement itself applied to Telstra's failure to meet the 90 per cent performance benchmark for new connections in urban areas for which it scored 88.6 per cent. The other shortfall, regarding new connections in remote areas where 89 per cent performance was recorded against a 90 per cent benchmark, resulted in a formal warning.
ACMA said both the infringement notice and formal warning took into account Telstra's positive and early responses and its open engagement with the ACMA, and also considered that the financial year was marked by extreme weather events which impacted the telco's fixed line network, particularly in remote areas.
Telstra received an additional format warning for breaches of several regulatory requirements related to the consultation process undertaken on eight payphone removals. AMCA said it considers the breaches were "generally of a technical nature" and noted the effort applied by Telstra in meeting new requirements introduced on January 1, 2012.
"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.
"Telstra has also committed to more regularly engage with the ACMA about its service improvements and performance."