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Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Telstra tells iOS users to stay home

Network identification changed to #StayHome for users of iOS devices.

telstra-ios-stayhome.jpg

Image: Telstra

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Australian incumbent telco Telstra is telling users of iOS devices to stay inside and not come out.

"We've changed our network name on iOS to the best thing anyone who isn't providing an essential service can do: #StayHome. If you can, you should," Telstra said in a tweet on Friday afternoon.

The telco pointed out that, ironically, it would take a switch of which tower a user is connected to, to see the new banner. ZDNet would add that entering and exiting airplane mode would prevent someone from needing to exit a premises to see the new network name.

As the coronavirus pandemic has broken out, Telstra has undertaken a number of measures in response.

Last week, the telco said it would pause job cuts for the next six months -- under the telco's T22 plan, it had previously ended the employment of thousands of workers -- and would recruit an extra 1,000 temporary call centre workers in Australia due to its Filipino call centre being shut down due to measures taken by Manilla.

The company is also shifting AU$500 million of capital expenditure slated for the second half of the next fiscal year into the calendar 2020 year.

"This capital will be deployed to increase capacity in our network, including further accelerating the rollout of 5G and injecting much needed investment into the economy at this time," Telstra said.

Telstra is also suspending late payment fees and disconnections until the end of April, which is when the decision will be re-examined, and the company has also committed to re-signing any sponsorship agreements it already has for another year.

"COVID-19 is having a profound impact on business across the country. At Telstra we already have more than 25,000 people successfully working from home, and we are supporting many of our customers as they grapple with shifting to working and studying from home," Telstra CEO Andy Penn said.

"It is at times like these that big business can show leadership and make a contribution to the national response and that is what we at Telstra are doing."

At the beginning of last week, Telstra handed all of its home broadband customers unlimited data until the end of April. The data boost covers customers on the National Broadband Network, ADSL, and cable customers.

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