Telstra to spruce up remote network

Around 28,000 Telstra customers living in remote Australia will benefit from a AU$150 million (US$76.6 million) infrastructure upgrade, covering 100 extended zones.

SYDNEY (ZDNet Australia)--Around 28,000 Telstra customers living in remote Australia will benefit from a AU$150 million (US$76.6 million) infrastructure upgrade, covering 100 extended zones.

The revamp is part of the federal government’s push to provide untimed calls at local call rates for customers in those zones--and is expected to “substantially” improve dial-up speed to the Internet.

"This new initiative will help bridge the divide for around 28,000 customers living in remote Australia by bringing them telephone and Internet services comparable to those delivered in the cities," Roger Bamber, acting group managing director, Telstra Country Wide said.

”The rollout work will involve 'cutting over' customers currently served by Digital Radio Concentrator Systems services to new wireless technologies, such as a High Capacity Radio Concentrator, which will provide access to additional features for their fixed telephones,” Bamber said.

The rollout of upgrade work is contracted to be completed by December 2003.

"We are delighted to be able to provide our customers in remote areas with cheaper telecommunications services. This includes a significant reduction in their local call costs as well as dial-up Internet access at an untimed local call rate," Bamber said, speaking at the launch of the upgrade in the remote community of Birdsville in South West Queensland.

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