Alston welcomes Telstra's network improvement plans

Telstra's plans to improve its customer network have been welcomed by the Minister of Communications, Senator Richard Alston.

"The Access Renewal program is good news for Telstra's customers and shareholders," Alston said yesterday.

Telstra announced on Friday it will almost double its annual customer network capital expenditure levels to improve network maintenance and fault repair in the next financial year. The decision will see investment rise from $400 million to $700 million.

According to Telstra, the program will target reducing faults, building additional capacity and anticipating future network capabilities such as the Internet over its copper network.

According to Alston, Telstra's fault rate on its copper network is more than twice the international standard.

["Telstra] blames a past failure to invest sufficient funds in network maintenance and upgrade," Alston said.

"This investment decision should mean that Telstra's customers receive a better quality of service, and the company's shareholders will see an improvement to the bottom line as maintenance costs and payments of Customer Service Guarantee compensation both fall."

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