Business and Enterprise | Regional | Small Business | Telstra News |

Supporting schools and business in regional Australia

By David Burns June 15, 2021

This is the first time regional areas in Australia have been able to access up to 10Gbps internet services, opening up business and learning opportunities previously limited to big cities.

We think the future of connectivity shouldn’t just be about big cities, and that businesses and students should thrive no matter where their office or school is. After some big regional network upgrades across New South Wales recently, whether you’re in the Central West or Sydney, organisations can now access up to 10Gbps internet services.

Recent major upgrades to our fixed network across 525 exchange locations in regional NSW will bring substantial capacity improvements and help address digital access equality for the first time to many regional towns and centres.

NSW public schools are one of the first major recipients of the benefits the upgraded network will bring, with all 2200+ schools getting a big boost to their internet connections, with some schools seeing their total shared bandwidth upgraded by 15x their previous capacity.

We’ve already started moving schools on to our upgraded network, with Dubbo College Senior Campus in NSW’s Central West getting a multi gigabit capacity boost of almost 10x its previous connection the school shares across all its students and staff.

We are making good progress with delivering these higher bandwidths, upgrading around 50 schools a week which will continue throughout the rest of the year. Working closely with the NSW Department of Education, we are helping to improve digital equality across all public schools, including sites in very remote locations.

Big boost for regional businesses

But it’s not just schools that will benefit from our upgraded regional network, as businesses across NSW will also be able to access ultra-fast internet for the first time.

With a lot of us spending the last year working from home, or indeed leaving the big smoke for a tree or sea change, the ubiquitous nature of video calls has proven that for many us, business can be done from anywhere there’s a solid internet connection.

By boosting our regional networks, businesses and their employees can work from Grafton, for example, with the same quality of connection that they would have working from Sydney’s CBD.

Ultra-fast broadband means regional businesses can embrace new technologies and compete with bigger companies from the city, with capacity now to work with technologies like Augmented Reality, advanced analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

With connectivity infrastructure no longer an issue, businesses in the city have the real option to do their own tree change and move completely or open up new locations in regional towns.

Things like start-up hubs can now also think about opening or expanding outside of cities, with enough bandwidth to run hot new tech companies who need fast, reliable internet, potentially bringing huge job and economic growth to these areas.

Our upgraded network

For businesses and schools trying to operate on low-bandwidth connections, it can make their work extremely difficult, resulting in poor productivity and fewer opportunities for growth.

For city-dwellers, it’s akin to how your 50Mbps home connection might start feeling when the whole family is trying to dial in to a video call or stream their latest lecture. Now that’s just four or five people trying to use high bandwidth applications – imagine your frustration with an office full of people all trying to access the internet at once with only a bit more capacity.

Upgrading our exchanges brings internet capacity closer to regional centres, greatly increasing the speeds our regional customers’ get as a result.

We started upgrading our network in September last year, with close to 2200 of these locations already connected with fibre that now no longer require to be served internet via our Sydney hub. Having Telstra fibre there already, meant for a lot of those sites, our upgrades mostly needed to take place just at the exchanges with minimal ground digging and cables.

We’re excited to be connecting more Australians in more places to fast internet, and we’ll be continuing to upgrade our regional NSW network, with the aim to have these finished by the end of this year.

Small Business | Tech for good | Telstra Business Awards | Telstra News |

Celebrating Australian small business with the Telstra Best of Business Awards

By Michael Ackland June 1, 2021

Australian small business owners do some amazing things. You run the books at 9pm after putting the kids to bed, go above and beyond for your customers and support diversity and inclusion with all of those working around you.

It’s not just these day-to-day things business owners do either, you do all of this while pushing Australia forward – boosting the economy, innovating and supporting the wonderful diverse country that we are.

We want to celebrate small businesses that are pushing these envelopes, who don’t settle with the status quo, pushing their industries and striving for equality and diversity. This is why we’re launching the Telstra Best of Business Awards – to reward and recognise the people and businesses the nation needs.

The Telstra Best of Business Awards continues our long legacy of awards programs that recognise exceptional leaders and small and medium sized businesses, providing a platform to further their success and inspire others.

We’re really proud of the support we’ve shown exceptional small businesses across our country over the past 25 years through the Telstra Business Awards and Telstra Business Women’s Awards where we have recognised over 5,000 finalists from both city and regional areas across each state and territory of Australia.

After talking with our alumni, we believe it is the right time to evolve and design a bigger, better awards program for a broader section of the community. Our new Best of Business Awards is our evolution of this work, as we look to be more inclusive and representative of all the different types of businesses and those who run them.

Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our new program, from improved accessibility to the entry process which is now entirely online incorporating video, to the creation of an expanded number of categories such as Indigenous Excellence for Indigenous-owned businesses, Accelerating Women for businesses challenging exclusion and inequality and, Building Communities for businesses working to make a positive impact on their communities.

Recognising businesses that keep Australia thriving

Celebrating the businesses and people building Australia’s economic, social and cultural prosperity is at the heart of our new awards, and we’ve created eight different categories we believe rightfully recognises this.

Building Communities

Recognising businesses working to make a positive impact on culture and society so people from all walks of life can thrive as part of a supportive community.

Championing Health

For businesses focussed on innovative solutions, improving health outcomes for every Australian.

Embracing Innovation

Rewarding businesses innovating with technology to develop solutions for challenges faced by modern Australia.

Promoting Sustainability

For businesses reducing their environmental impact by driving sustainable change within their industry for a cleaner and healthier planet.

Outstanding Growth

For businesses achieving significant growth and contributing to building a more resilient Australian economy.

Accelerating Women

For businesses actively challenging exclusion and inequality to create meaningful and lasting equity for women.

Indigenous Excellence

For Indigenous-led, owned and operated businesses succeeding through entrepreneurialism, innovation and inspiring the next generation of all Australians.

Any business with less than 200 employees in Australia can enter the awards in categories that best suit them.

Progressing Australia

You may have noticed we only listed seven categories above. That’s because a key part to the Best of Business Awards is the addition of a new, annually-changing awards category – Progressing Australia.

This category will highlight businesses that are best responding to the most pressing issues the nation faces. This year’s topic is Local Leadership – championing small businesses who are excelling in their role of building a thriving community of the future. This comes after 96 per cent of consumers said they considered small businesses an important part of their community.

Nominate your business today

Entering the Telstra Best of Business Awards could help small business owners take their business to the next level. The rigorous judging process will look to find those who are having an impact in the areas and industries most important to Australia’s growth and shine a light on those businesses.

If you own or know someone who does own an exceptional business, you can nominate by visiting today.

Small Business |

Small business on the big stage: here’s who’s going up in lights at the footy 

By Michael Ackland April 30, 2021

Running a small business during the pandemic is like running both halves into the wind. They kept our economy going during the toughest of times, and we’re paying it forward by putting their names up in lights. Here’s who we’re taking to the big game.

The prize

We recently announced that we’d be giving away our ad space during Round 8 of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership and Round 9 of the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership next week’s games. Small businesses who won would have their work showcased in the broadcast, banners, big screens and on the hallowed NRL grass. That sort of exposure costs big bucks, reaching millions of fans and living rooms, and we’re making sure it goes to a good place.

The winners

From a barber shop, an avocado-themed tour bus company, tradies, a children’s clothing label and even a trail riding business, 17 small businesses have won a share of more than $1 million worth of Telstra’s premium advertising including space at next week’s AFL and NRL games across the country.  

The 17 successful businesses are:  


Ace of Blade Barber Shop

(Wynnum, QLD) – Rabbitohs v. Storm

Brite Spark Electrical Services

(Sydney, NSW) – Eels v. Roosters

West Words (Sydney, NSW) – Panthers v. Sharks
Holbrook Bakery (Holbrook, NSW) – Raiders v. Knights
Unico Kitchens (Sydney, NSW) – Tigers v. Titans
Muscle Mat (QLD) – Cowboys v. Broncos
EME Roofing (Sydney, NSW) – Dragons v. Bulldogs
Vegepod (Sydney, NSW) – Sea Eagles v. Warriors


Animal Land

(Diggers Rest, VIC) – Richmond v. Geelong

Chum Creek Horse Riding & Huts

(Chum Creek, VIC) – Melbourne v. Sydney

The Little Veggie Patch Co.

(Melbourne, VIC) – North Melbourne v. Collingwood

Just Shear

(Yorke Peninsula, SA) – Suns v. St Kilda


(Sydney, NSW) – Giants v. Essendon

Goldie + Ace

(Melbourne, VIC) – Crows v. Port Adelaide

New Style Painting Service

(Perth, WA) – Fremantle v. Brisbane Lions

The Avocado Bus & Mine Movers

(Perth, WA) -Hawthorn v. West Coast

We’ll also be highlighting around 50 other small businesses through our retail stores and on our website to extend our support even further.

These businesses deserve a big plug after an incredibly tough 12 months, and I’m thrilled we can put their names up in lights and showcase them to potential new customers.

Supporting small business with free consultations

I’d like to thank everyone who entered. Everyone who did register interest for one of our new Telstra Business Go Digital Consults, which is still available to Aussie small businesses for free (normally valued at $149 each) for the rest of the year.

A Telstra Small Business Expert will do an over the phone review of how digital your business is, and provide a tailored report and roadmap for you to ‘Go Digital’ including recommendations in the following areas:

  • Get connected helping ensure you’re set up for success with the right tools, devices and connectivity to get and stay online.
  • Engage online – advising on how to engage with customers online (website, social media, search engines, etc.), digital marketing to help boost your online presence, and tracking/managing existing customer relationships.
  • Help stay secure and supported – making sure you have the right tools to reduce the threat of viruses and malware to your business devices and data – plus access to ongoing support.
  • Business Software – offering insights into solutions including tech services, accounting software, security software, CRM software, and more to suit your business.

Our extensive partner network has also come to the party to support SMBs, with the Telstra Business Go Digital Consult unlocking a host of exclusive offers from Small Business Australia, Samsung, Cisco, Spotzer, Facebook and Microsoft.

We’ve also developed an interactive online Go Digital Tool, to help businesses self-assess their digital readiness and receive recommendations.

Congratulations to our winners. We’ll see you on the field.

Other winners

Threesides Marketing; Your Happy Feet Podiatry; Active and Ageless; Deja Vu Emporium; Designed Learning; Examiner Driving School; Flexigen; Hunt Hospitality; Print Storm; RISING KINGS; The Girls & Boys Brigade; The Home Hub Trader; AHR (Alison Hucks Resources); Quality Living and Support Services; Rounding Up; Style Sensation; The Cage Youth Foundation; The Wholesome Gift Box; Sweep Scrub; Blues Glass Shower Screens; Tasmanian Oyster Company; Blind Citizens Australia; Captains Cove; Coad88 Evac Plan; Footscray Community Arts Centre; GM Sound Studios; Marbled Meats; Pickers Retro Haven; Sheen Panel Service; Sign Obsession; SMAART Recruitment; Social Outcome Solutions; Springhill Farm; Stix and Flora; Stopline; Stuck on Stationery; SWiM Communications; The Fitter; The Food Purveyor; The Gifting Guild; The Graffiti Eaters; The Studio Yarra Valley; Wash & Lather Soap Co; Wide Awake Wellness; Active Wellness Spa; Diamond Fitness; Macoda Mattress; Mine Movers

Responsible business | Small Business | Tech for good | Telstra News |

Putting businesses who Go Digital up in lights at the footy

By Michael Ackland March 2, 2021

If Australia’s small businesses were footy players, they’d all deserve the Brownlow and the Dally M for how they’ve kept themselves and our economy running over the past year. Now, we want to pay it forward.

Today we’re kicking off around $8.5m worth of support, made up of free one-on-one assistance to help small businesses ‘go digital’ for the rest of the year and (and this is a real kicker) the opportunity to have your business up in lights in front of millions of people at NRL and AFL matches.

We feel this is the perfect way for Telstra to help, and give local businesses priceless exposure at the same time.

Have your business up in lights at the NRL or AFL

Running a business can be a bit like a footy game – really competitive with lots of players to contend with. We want to help level the playing field, by putting businesses up in lights on the field.

We’re giving away our ad space during Round 8 of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership season and Round 9 of the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership. This includes the broadcast, banners, big screen and the NRL grass. It’s exclusive exposure, reaching potentially millions of people, that big businesses pay big bucks for.

17 matches means 17 winners getting national exposure – it doesn’t matter if you’re a tattoo artist or a florist – while another 50 businesses can win advertising spots at their local Telstra retail store, and My Telstra app.

This is our way of giving the backbone of our economy a well-deserved big plug, But that’s not all. We want to help all our small business customers be their best online at the same time.

Go Digital

Our new Telstra Business Go Digital Consult is designed to help your business be its best online, to help meet customer demands and increase your efficiencies, and we’re offering it free (valued at $149 each) to small businesses for the rest of the year.

A Telstra Small Business Expert will do an over the phone review of how digital your business is, and provide a tailored report and roadmap for you to ‘Go Digital’ covering the following areas:

  • Get connected – ensuring you’re set up for success with the right tools, devices and connectivity to get and stay online.
  • Engage online – advising on how to engage with customers online (website, social media, search engines, etc.), digital marketing to help boost your online presence, and tracking/managing existing customer relationships.
  • Help stay secure and supported – making sure you have the right tools to reduce the threat of viruses and malware to your business devices and data – plus access to ongoing support.
  • Business Software – offering insights into solutions including tech services, accounting software, security software, CRM software, and more to suit your business.

Our extensive partner network has also come to the party to support SMBs, with the Telstra Business Go Digital Consult unlocking a host of exclusive offers from Small Business Australia, Samsung, Cisco, Spotzer, Facebook and Microsoft.

We’ve also developed an interactive online Go Digital Tool, to help businesses self-assess their digital readiness and receive recommendations.

How it works

Eligible Telstra small business customers who register interest for a free Telstra Business Go Digital Consult can head to our portal and share a brief description on why they deserve to have their business up in lights go into the running our footy ad space giveaway. Free and easy, because we know you have your hands full.

We’re constantly adding to and evolving our offerings to our small business customers, like our recent partnership with MYOB, because we all want them to thrive.

Small Business |

Taking care of business with free MYOB Essentials

By Anne Da Cunha February 24, 2021

As the Australian economy becomes more plugged-in, logged-on and fired-up than ever, we want to give all small businesses digitising potentially for the first time the ability to mind their own business. That’s why we’re teaming up with MYOB to help Australian small businesses get the job done.

We know how busy it is running a business. You’ve got to handle everything. Your customers, your staff, suppliers to chase and invoices to handle. But we want to lend a hand with a one-stop shop for all your business tools and needs.

To help with that, our new suite of tools for Australian small- to medium-businesses (SMBs) launches today and includes a free three-month subscription to MYOB Essentials (normally valued at up to $180) for new and existing customers.

Combining your Telstra mobile and MYOB subscriptions on the same Telstra bill, simplifies administration and payments – allowing business owners more time to get on with what matters most.

Customers can choose any plan from the MYOB Essentials range on the Telstra website or in store to combine their billing, while still having access to MYOB’s ANZ-based support teams. The three-month free offer is valid with any $65+ Telstra month to month plan.

We’ve heard businesses asking for more help with their business apps, and accounting and payroll are key. Having the power to get paid quickly and easily helps ensure the continuity of your business.

It’s all part of our mission to help Australian businesses thrive in a new digital world. The pandemic has driven more shoppers online than ever, and paired with a desire to shop local, the digital economy is vibrant.

Telstra’s Business Intelligence Insights report recently showed 76% of SMBs agreed that in 2020, digital technology helped them stay connected with their customers, in response to the impacts of COVID-19. And 72% of SMBs agreed that in 2020, digital technology helped them keep their business running and adapt how they work, in response to the impacts of COVID-19.

In addition to this, a recent MYOB Business Monitor found 35% of Australian SMEs moved more of their business online after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with 83% of those who did saying it helped their business stay afloat.

For more information, and to sign-up, head to