According to the Telecommunications Performance Monitoring Bulletin released by the ACA, Telstra's fault repair performance against the Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) Standard improved during the quarter "across all areas".
The bulletin said that in urban areas, 90 percent of repairs were completed within CSG timeframes, an improvement on the March 2004 quarter with 88 percent and the June 2003 quarter with 82 percent.
Telstra's rural area fault repair performance, at 92 percent of repairs completed within CSG timeframes, improved from 90 percent in the March 2004 quarter. Remote area fault repair performance against the CSG improved nationally, rising to 90 percent from 88 percent in the March 2004 quarter.
Optus' national urban fault repair performance remained stable with 98 percent of faults repaired within CSG timeframes in the June 2004 quarter, an improvement on its performance for the same period last year which was 86.6 percent.
Optus' urban fault repair performance for the June 2004 quarter saw an improvement from the June 2003 quarter in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (from 84 percent to 98 percent), Queensland (from 91 percent to 99 percent) and Victoria (from 92 percent to 99 percent). Optus has directly connected customers in these states only.
ACA acting chairman Bob Horton said service connection performance, for the most part, improved or remained stable.
New service connections by Telstra and Optus at a national level remained at or above 92 percent within CSG Standard timeframes, an improvement on the same period in 2003. Primus, on the other hand, reported a decline in new service connection performance at the national level.
In-place connections improved for the June 2004 quarter to at or above 98 percent completed within CSG timeframes for Telstra, Optus and Primus.
Telstra's new service connection performance in urban areas of Queensland and South Australia, on the other hand, declined, according to the bulletin. Telstra attributed the decline in these states to a high workload in Adelaide -- including high fault levels-- and similar issues stemming from the high workload associated with the bad weather that affected Brisbane during the March 2004 quarter.
In the June 2004 quarter, 89 percent of new service connections in urban areas of Queensland and South Australia --with and without infrastructure-- is down from 93 percent in the previous quarter, but an improvement from the 85 percent reported by Telstra for the June 2003 quarter. Telstra said the work levels stabilised only towards the end of April.
Telstra's new service connections performance in other states and for all other geographic areas --major rural, minor rural and remote-- remained steady, with only marginal changes from the previous quarter or the June 2003 quarter.
Horton said that, in the June quarter, there was a drop in both the use of exemption claims from the CSG Standard and the number of customers affected by the claims mostly relating to poor weather conditions.
Telstra claimed 11 mass service disruption exemptions affecting 2 percent of connections and fault repair requests -- a reduction from 3.3 percent for the same period in 2003. Telstra told ACA that severe weather conditions across Australia during the June 2004 quarter included lightning, wind squalls, heavy rain and localised flooding.
Five of the disruptions were in Victoria, mostly caused by lightning and heavy rain. Telstra also declared two MSDs in each of New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania, and one MSD in each of Queensland and Western Australia.
Optus did not claim any exemptions from the CSG Standard during this period.
The bulletin showed that Telstra's performance against the Network Reliability Framework showed across-the-board improvement in the June 2004 quarter. Since March 2004, the national monthly percentage of services without a fault has remained at or above the 2003 levels, and in July 2004 reached the highest monthly figure recorded since January 2003 which is 99.22 percent.
In the June quarter, Telstra's performance in repairing faults within specified timeframes for its priority assistance customers declined to the lowest level with 92.6 percent since reporting began in the March 2003 quarter.
"The ACA asked Telstra to explain its priority assistance performance. Telstra advised that factors affecting its performance included computer systems errors, fault repairs not being fast-tracked, incorrect information entered into the system and late job dispatching," Horton said.
"Telstra also advised the ACA of initiatives it has implemented to improve performance and there are early indications that these are having some effect," Horton added.
Telstra reported regional variations in its payphone fault repair performance. Urban repair times declined to 85 percent of payphones being repaired within specified timeframes, down from 91 percent in the March 2004 quarter.
Rural repair times declined from 87 percent to 82 percent, while performance in remote areas improved from 65 percent to 71 percent.
The bulletin said these figures reflect an improvement in Telstra's payphone repair performance compared with last year. The average time to repair payphone faults -- 13.9 business hours-- was also consistent with the performance recorded for the March 2004 quarter.
In terms of mobile carriers, the annual figures provided for 2003-04 show that state/territory call drop-out rates ranged from 0.4 to 2.6 percent of measured calls across the GSM and CDMA networks.
Annual call drop-out rates for all three GSM networks ranged from 0.4 to 1.7 percent during 2003-04, compared with 0.5 to 1.8 percent for 2002-03. Drop-out rates for the two CDMA networks in 2003-04 were within the range of 0.8 to 2.6 percent, compared with 0.8 to 2.7 percent for 2002-03.
The annual congestion levels reported by the mobile carriers for all states and territories did not exceed 0.7 per cent across the GSM and CDMA networks in 2003-04, which is consistent with the previous year's performance..
The ACA monitors the performance of Telstra's CDMA network quarterly. The bulletin said that call drop-out and congestion performance for the Telstra CDMA network in the June 2004 quarter was largely unchanged from the March 2004 quarter with only variations of state level performance of less than one percent.