Catholic lobbyist says Telstra cuts will heighten rural disadvantage
PolMin, the independent Catholic lobby group, said yesterday that Telstra's decision to cut 3000 jobs from its infrastructure division could threaten the viability of long-distance higher education.
The group said that reliable Internet access at a reasonable speed is essential for Australians living in regional and rural areas wishing to access on-line higher education.
"The Besley Report into Telstra's regional and rural services specifically drew attention to the fact the Telstra's network did not provide reliable and capable dial-up Internet speeds for those living in regional and rural Australia," said a statement from PolMin.
During the Senate's Budget Estimates hearing this week, Telstra announced that it has plans to shed another 3000 jobs, and that they will come from its infrastructure division.
PolMin said that while Federal Communications Minister Richard Alston told the Senate Budget Estimates hearing that Telstra will comply with the Esten Inquiry's recommendations requiring Telstra to guarantee reasonable dial-up Internet speeds to all Australians, the loss of 3000 infrastructure jobs means Telstra will be unable to deliver.
Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin)
Telstra: 3000 jobs cut (Daily Telegraph 26/5/03)
Besley report outlines inadequacy of rural telecommunications (ABC 7.30 Report 12/10/00)
Telstra | Country Wide
28 May 2003