Telstra offers 200GB free Microsoft OneDrive storage

Mobile and home broadband customers will gain access to 200GB of Microsoft cloud storage under a new offering from Telstra.

Telstra is giving its consumer mobile and fixed broadband customers a free two-year 200GB Microsoft OneDrive storage subscription.

A blog post by Kevin Teoh, Telstra director of Mass Market Mobility, labelled it "the largest amount of free file storage available on any Australian network".

Telstra customers wanting to take advantage of the offer can redeem their subscription offer through their account on the Telstra website or the 24x7 app.

OneDrive, which is compatible with iOS, Android, PC, and Mac smartphones, tablets, and computers, faced criticism late last year when Microsoft reneged on its promise to give free unlimited storage to OneDrive consumer and OneDrive business customers.

Microsoft attempted to make up for backing out of this offering by instead allowing all Office 365 Home, Personal, and University users subscribed to more than 1TB of storage to keep their higher storage amounts for one year.

However, last month, OneDrive and Office 365 users began complaining that their storage limits had in fact been capped at 1TB. Microsoft called it an accident.

"Some OneDrive customers may have been prematurely migrated to a 1TB storage plan," Microsoft said in its official statement.

"Data stored with OneDrive remains secure during this process, and we're working hard to revert those users back to their original plan as soon as possible. All Office 365 users with over 1TB of storage will be able to keep that storage limit for at least one year as previously announced.

"Please stay tuned to the OneDrive blog for future storage plan updates."

Microsoft remedied the issue and restored the higher storage quotas on February 9.

The burgeoning use of cloud services with large volumes of storage is partially due to those partaking in shadow IT: Employees bringing technology products and services into a business and using them without the formal approval of the IT department.

"If the IT group can't provide them the immediate access they desire, they simply pull out a credit card and go to a public cloud provider instead," CEO of CloudBolt Software Jon Mittelhauser explained in October.

"Public cloud and SaaS providers have made access to their services simple, quick, and easy."

Shadow IT, which arose as a result of the widespread bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, has the potential of risking a business' privacy and security, with a Cisco report showing that the usage of unauthorised cloud services is pervasive.

"IT departments estimate their companies are using an average of 51 cloud services, when the reality is that 730 cloud services are being used," the report said.

A Cloud Security Alliance survey from last January reported that 72 percent of respondents did not know the amount of shadow IT apps being used within their business.

On the other hand, a Canvas survey published in February showed that shadow cloud and mobile apps are actually delivering material benefits to businesses.

Canvas surveyed 400 executives, finding that "organisations increasingly view shadow IT as an opportunity to drive workforce innovation and cost management".

Allowing workers to choose their own business apps and software encourages an innovative environment, as well as generating cost savings and improving business productivity, the survey added.

"The ability of mobile apps to rapidly improve the bottom line and boost top-line performance is changing perspectives on shadow IT," the survey said.

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