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Telecommunications report shows continuing high levels of performance.



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Telecommunications report shows continuing high levels of performance

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today welcomed the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) telecommunications performance bulletin for the June 2002 quarter which reports a positive performance against both the Customer Service Guarantee * (CSG) and non-CSG indicators.

The bulletin shows Telstra's performance for new service connections has remained strong with average compliance levels at 92 per cent or better in all areas. It also shows that completion of 'in-place' connections within CSG timeframes nationally were 97 per cent for Telstra and 99.9 per cent for Optus. Telstra connected 93 per cent of 'new service' connections at the national level within CSG timeframes, consistent with the previous quarter. While Optus reported that its new service connection performance declined by three per cent to 88 per cent -the ACA is seeking clarification of this performance from Optus.

On an annual basis Telstra's new connection performance has been solid - for example, its performance in providing new services in areas without infrastructure has improved to 94 per cent for the June quarter 2002, from the June 2001 figure of 87 per cent.

The bulletin shows Telstra's fault repair performance in rural and remote areas remained strong with 93 per cent and 97 per cent of faults respectively fixed within CSG timeframes, and fault repair performance in urban areas increased slightly from the March quarter to 86 per cent.

Performance levels continued to be affected by carryover of faults from the March quarter associated with bushfires and flooding in urban New South Wales and extreme weather conditions in urban Western Australia in April and June 2002. The ACA notes that the effects of the March 2002 quarter have now been largely overcome and expects that Telstra's urban fault rectification performance will return to the previous high levels in the September 2001 quarter.

Telstra's quarterly national fault performance was up marginally from the March quarter to 88 per cent. On an annual basis, Telstra's national fault performance remained steady at 90 per cent, the same result as last year.

Optus' national fault repair performance levels improved by 11 per cent to 89 per cent compared to the March 2002 quarter, reversing a downward trend in the previous quarters from September 2001. Optus has attributed the improvement in performance to the absence of extreme weather conditions that were prevalent during the previous two quarters.

 

Telstra's directory assistance performance remained strong with 99 per cent of all calls being answered and 96 per cent of calls answered within ten seconds.

National payphone availability (the number of working card or coin payphones available) remained high at 99 per cent. The average time taken to rectify pay phone faults nationally remained stable from the last quarter at 28 hours.

The bulletin also makes special mention of the ACA's Consumer information guidelines for Internet service providers, which aims to standardise the information made available to consumers by Internet service providers (ISPs). Industry responses to the guideline will provide consumers with information to assist them in making informed choices when selecting an ISP. The guidelines were prepared by the ACA, in consultation with the industry, at the direction of the Government.

The June quarter performance results continue to highlight the importance of legislated consumer safeguards such as the Universal Service Obligation and CSG, which ensure telecommunications services are provided within reasonable timeframes - no matter where you live.

* The Government's CSG requires phone companies to meet set connection and repair timeframes or provide alternative services to customers, otherwise they are liable to pay the customer compensation.

Media contact: David Quilty on 0419 421 803 or Annabelle Herd on 0408 293 458 Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

224/02 27 September 2002