Telstra is up in arms over letters it says Communications Minister Helen Coonan has sent to homes located in broadband-enabled areas, telling them they have no high-speed connection available.
The letters, sent to locations across rural Australia, tell recipients: "To date, your street address has not received a commercial upgrade to enable access to ADSL or wireless broadband." According to Telstra, some homes who received the letters are already able to access ADSL or ADSL2+ broadband.
The letter continues: "I am pleased to inform you that the recently announced Australia Connected programme has targeted "under served" premises and is likely to bring broadband to your address."
According to a Telstra spokesperson, one of the letters -- which promote the forthcoming bush WiMax network -- was sent to a Telstra exchange. Other broadband-enabled homes which received the letter include premises in McLaren Vale, Toowoomba and Ballarat.
Although only 50 of the 500,000 letters are known to have hit broadband-enabled homes, Telstra is planning its own letter-drop and advertising campaign to counter the Minister's message.
Like Coonan, Telstra has also been taken to task this week over its promotional strategy. Communications watchdog the ACCC announced yesterday it has started court proceedings over claims made by Telstra about its Next G network. The regulator alleged Next G taglines including "Everywhere you need it" misled customers.
The telco's spokesperson said: "The hypocrisy of legal action against one Telstra advertisement on one hand and the lack of action on the government's taxpayer funded advertising blunder is staggering."