Telstra announces historic & ‘most significant’ restructuring plans

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Telco Telstra store | iTMunch

Australian telecom giant Telstra announced its plans for its most  significant and historic restructure since 1997. The company has plans to split its business into three separate units. This also includes positioning to spin-off Telstra’s infrastructure assets. InfraCo, the company’s infrastructure business will be split into two separate units. Meanwhile, Telstra mobile will be overseen by a third unit.

Telstra to split into 3 separate business units

According to a statement by Andy Penn, Telstra CEO, the move is designed to help the telco better realise the value of its infrastructure assets. The company’s infrastructure will be bifurcated into InfraCo Fixed, owning and running Telstra’s fixed-line assets along with InfraCo Towers, owning the mobile infrastructure. Meanwhile, the third unit known as ServeCo, will own the active parts of Telstra’s mobile business. This includes spectrum assets and the radio access network.

Penn continued that the disruptions and challenges and disruptions of the last year have served to reinforce the increasing value of global infrastructure assets, besides the necessity of having a digital economy. He concluded that it was important not only to business but also to Australia as a whole and its economic recovery, along with the digital economy’s dependence on the telecommunications platform. InfraCo had been established in 2018 as a part of Telstra’s T22 strategy. The move was designed to position the telco if it were to purchase NBN Co, in the event of the broadband builder’s privatization. This proposed restructuring is scheduled to be complete latest by December 2021. The three business units are going to operate under their parent company Telstra Group. 

SEE ALSO: Shareholders of Aussie telecom firm OptiComm approve Uniti acquisition

ACMA finds Telstra guilty of overcharging customers

In the meanwhile, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found Telstra guilty of overcharging 10,000 customers a whopping Australian $2.4 million over a period of 12 years. The telco regulator issued directives to Telstra after the company found its long-standing error. Dating back to 2008, Telstra had overcharged customers for interim services that generally consisted of providing a mobile phone, during the repairs and delay of landlines. The period that was covered by the TCP breaches stretched from February 13 2008, to February 27 2020. 

According to Nerida O’Loughlin, ACMA chair, the errors were clear breaches of the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code (TCP) and were unacceptable. However, the regulator has still chosen to waive the prospect of future fines up to an amount of AU$250,000 for Telstra. She concluded that the amount being charged for an interim service should not exceed the amount a customer would have been charged under their requested or existing landline service. In the current situation, what seems to be playing into Telstra’s favour is its swift move to rectify the problem by removing all ongoing charges for interim services, as well as refunding customers.

Founded in 1975, Telstra Corporation Limited is an Australian telecom company. It builds and operates telecommunications networks. Telstra mobile plans include Telstra plus and internet, phone plans and Telstra NBN plans along with various products and services.

SE ALSO: ACMA pushes telcos for transparency in customer service commitments

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