Telstra Pledges $3bn Investment For Customers

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24:  A Testra logo seen on a retail space in Sydney's CBD on July 24, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Telstra's Global Services Devision will be moving 463 existing Telstra roles and 208 contractor jobs to India. Telstra staff were officially informed of the decision yesterday afternoon.  (Photo by James Alcock/Getty Images)

Telstra has committed to invest an extra $3 billion on “next generation” networks for its customers after suffering a series of outages in recent months.

Andrew Penn, CEO of Telstra, said the telco giant was making a strategic commitment to ensure continued technological leadership to significantly improve customer experiences.

“Our customers and our networks are our biggest assets. We must invest to set new standards and deliver excellent experiences for our customers,” he said in a statement to shareholders.

“There are a number of immediate actions that we believe will improve customer experiences. We will simplify products and platforms – we need to retire old technology and systems that slow down and complicate how customers are served.”

Mr Penn said investing in digitisation is also a critical component of the additional funding, with Telstra looking to expand its digitally-enabled sales and service channels so that customers can interact with the telco on their terms, as well as introducing capability to better pre-empt issues faced by customers.

The announcement comes as Telstra reported a net profit of $5.8 billion for the 2016 fiscal year – up 35.9 per cent on the 12 months prior – while the group’s share of the Foxtel business saw a 4.6 per cent increase in revenue to $3.3 billion.

Mr Penn said that while Telstra performed well over the last financial year and added new customers across its key products – 560,000 more domestic retail mobile customers and 235,000 more domestic retail fixed broadband customers to be exact – he admitted that the telco had not made enough progress on improving customer experiences.

“We know that customers expect more from us as their reliance on smart devices continues to grow,” he said.

“This is why improving the customer experience is paramount, and why network interruptions in the second half were particularly disappointing.”

To coincide with the release of its full-year results, Telstra also announced the appointment of former Accenture regional managing director Jane Hemstritch as a non-executive director of its board.

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