More than 200 retailers are set to launch a voluntary boycott of Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Vodafone, in an effort to pressure Telstra into fixing its network.
Key points:The retailer has pledged to remain neutral and not participate in any boycott of the telcoThe boycott is expected to run until April 20 and will be supported by the major telco lobby group, Communications AllianceTelstra’s network was downgraded to “critical” by a third party after the Telstra-owned company suffered a major outage in June.
Telstra announced a full network upgrade in June that included the installation of a new fibre optic cable.
But the upgrade caused significant disruption and the network has since been downgraded back to “critically” affected.
But today the retailer announced it will not participate.
The announcement comes after an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) report earlier this year concluded that Vodacom’s network had been upgraded to critical status.
The ACCA said that while Vodakos fibre network was “in the best condition it has been in for years”, it had suffered a “serious” loss of connectivity during the upgrade.
“Vodakas network has suffered a significant loss of capacity, with peak-hours data levels dropping to a level not seen since the days of the NBN,” it said.
“While the network is still operational, this is the worst loss of data capacity on Vodas network for more than 30 years.”
The network has also suffered a series of network degradation incidents, including intermittent outages and degraded signal quality.
“Telstra said the ACCA report showed the “vast majority” of the network’s connectivity had been restored and that the network had not been degraded since April 2017.
The company said it has invested in “an array of improvements” to the network and is committed to supporting Voday as it works through the issues that have affected its network since June.”
We continue to monitor the situation closely and we will continue working with our suppliers and our network partners to ensure that we provide a full, uninterrupted, secure, reliable and affordable network,” Telstra said.
The boycott comes a day after Telstra announced the launch of its $9 billion new telco upgrade program.
The upgrade will see Vodapro fibre optic cables upgraded to speeds of up to 1.2 gigabits per second.
The new NBN upgrade, which is slated to be rolled out by 2019, will also include the installation the first of two superfast superfast broadband connections in Australia.
This will provide speeds of 2.5 gigabit per second to all households in the country.
But the NBN is not without controversy.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has raised concerns that the upgrades may be a breach of consumer privacy and the ACCC has warned that it will be taking action against Telstra over the matter.
Vodafon, which owns and operates Vodamax, has already faced backlash over the rollout of the upgrades, which are also set to affect Vodacity.
The Telstra deal is the latest in a series that Telstra has had to deal with over the years.
The company has had several major network upgrades, including a massive upgrade to its fibre optic network in 2010 and a subsequent upgrade in 2012.