14 May 2010
By David Thodey

Telstra’s CEO Vlog: Connection across our vast land

Telstra CEO David Thodey takes a close look at One Laptop Per Child Australia – a great program that’s designed to support the educational development of children in isolated areas of the country.
Find out all about One Laptop Australia and how you can get involved.
Telstra’s Reconciliation Action Plan is available to view or download online.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.


Posts: 23


  1. Martin Khun says:

    The next big connection will be the medical information revolution. The doctor’s office is will soon become part of a network with diagnostics and hospitals. Telstra could be at the centre of this transformation. Then laptops in remote locations will enable quality of life and care as well as education.

  2. Ryan says:

    Hi David,

    This is the first vlog I have seen of your, nice work.

    Are you providing connectivity into these communities to supplement the OLPC efforts?


  3. Bronwyn says:

    Hope they get better broadband support than Telstra customers. Bigpond tech support is in Manila and often cannot understand you when you speak to them, and seem to be unable to fix the problem. I have been having ongoing internet issues. Last week, after complaining of my service and speeds etc, I was convinced to ‘upgrade’ to ADSL2+ (on a 2 year plan – stupid me) and I would get 25Mbps (although download had never been a problem). Did not even have the net from Friday until Monday, and since then it has not worked properly. Tonight I clocked my speed at 61kbp!. Tech support tells me I have been ‘shaped’ as I have used 19,000. Miraculous! For several years I was on 12,000 Liberty with no problems and never went over, suddenly I have used 19,000 in several days. Nothing has changed. Tech seemed to think this was acceptable, and obviously my fault. What a joke. Telecommunications Ombudsman will be hearing from me asap. Contracts are a two way agreement, I have kept my end, Telstra believes it has no obligation to keep its end of the deal.

    • Brendan O'Keefe [TEX Customer Engagement Manager] says:

      Hi Bronwyn, I’ve forwarded you issue to the appropriate team. I hope we can sort this out for you asap.
      Cheers, Brendan.

  4. David,
    I think the Telstra strengths of rural coverage work so nicely with raising aboriginal living standards. This is a great opportunity for Telstra to make such a big difference in people’s lives, rural live, aboriginal lives. Telstra’s leadership has to be applauded.

    Another favourite telco of mine, Exetel, donates one third of its profit to helping endangered species. If Telstra was to make a commitment to Aboriginal communication, at even a tiny level, the public relations benefits would be enormous. I suggest Telstra aim for 3% of profits go to improving Aboriginal communication. Give them free internet, free phone calls, free community computer centres, free satellite phones (up to the 3% donation target). Then publicise it to the city, and we in the city would love that Telstra is making a difference in their lives.

    Good luck with the current turbulent operating environment. It would be a shame for the NBN to wreck your business. I wonder that Telstra, like Qantas before, when faced with growing competition, needs to find its Jetstar equivalent. A Telstra 2, A Telstra Phoenix, reinvented to reinvigorate, and reinvent the business for the broadband age, unfettered by historical rules, debt, high salaries, that can focus on delivering fantastic telecoms value to customers. Good luck for the future. Find your Jetstar….

  5. Kenny says:

    Laptops for school kids, especially those in families that can’t afford them. Great idea. Just hope Tony Abbot is not our next PM as he promises to scrap them. Back to the stone age.

  6. David Thodey says:

    Thanks for your feedback and your suggestions.

    I am proud of Telstra’s long history of working with the indigenous communities. Only recently we launched Telstra’s Reconciliation Action Plan, of which a third of all our funding that we provide through Telstra Foundation will be allocated to the indigenous communities around Australia. We are also committed to recruiting more than 40 indigenous trainees every year, including offering a trainee a university scholarship.

    Through the Telstra Foundation, we support Indigenous projects through the Community Development Fund (ie Goolari Media project) and our One Laptop Per Child partnership (launched 31 March this year). We also brought high-speed broadband to the northern Arnhem Land, which saw 800km of fibre optic cable laid between Jabiru and Nhulunbuy connecting 8000 people. Thanks again for your support for all the activities as we continue our work in the indigenous communities around Australia.

    With regards to your question about a Jetstar for Telstra, we have looked at this on occasion in the past and will not be pursuing it at this stage.

    All the best,

  7. Doug says:

    The Federal government found it a tad embarrassing that remote indigenous communities in the far north have no communication infrastructure. To the extent 300 new, state-of-the-art payphones were dropped into their neighbourhoods.
    If I were they I would find it just as embarrassing that there are pockets of communities around Australia (some very close to Canberra) that have compromised mobile phone coverage, low or no incomes, remoteness due to lack of public transport infrastructure, and a communications company hell bent on removing their payphones. Telstra’s excuse – its costing us money!! How much did 300 payphones in northern Australia cost?

    Just what is an Indigenous Community?
    I think we have one in our area.
    Most of the people in the village have descended from Europeans.
    The majority of these people were born in Australia. When does one stop being a “citizen” and become “indigenous”?
    Never-the-less, I know at least five people that can trace their aboriginal heritage (in our village) – if this is what is meant.
    Why are these people being discriminated against? (300 payphones released to communities across the top-end.)

    Telstra goes into a lengthy discussion of what an indigenous community is.
    In the end their discussion is very open ended and the definition ephemeral. It gives you some idea of how much they try to worm their way out of something.

    It gets a little better when we see a dozen young people empowered with their bright green laptops.
    Now, what a great place is Northern Territory. I hope there is a i-waste program in place for all this equipment when it wears out/busts.
    Sorry, I seem a little cynical, but are these lap-tops what they want? Did anyone ask? Of course the sociological impact must have been thought right through as has the environmental – or has it?
    Never-the-less, Telstra, keep up the good work.

  8. Steve Churchill says:

    Hi, I’m a new customer to Telstra and appreciate the much better signal strength on my new mobile (from Telstra). But would like to see Telstra mobile offer customers the ability to sms Telstra to obtain a report on their Call/Data usage like Vodafone does. Thanks.

  9. K Owen says:

    Hi, so much for customer service. Telstra has wrongly charged me for items it was not entitled to. 3 months – yes that’s right, 3 months of trying to sort it out, and an estimated 20 hours, yes that’s right 20 hours, of my telephone time. Several statements and promises, ALL broken! It is at the point now where I have to consider legal action. Can you please advise a physical address so I can have the papers served on Telstra – none of your consultants seem to want to let me know :) , as I need a physical address to have the court documents served. Enough is enough, it is such a pity it has had to go this far, but I am determined. As I said right at the very beginning, customer service needs to be honest, and consistent. It is a pity that Telstra is neither! Please give me the physical address of your head office so I can have the Baliff serve the CEO with the necessary court documents?

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