Timeline: The road to Telstra separation (Part I)

From its inception to its potential separation, <i>ARN</i> takes a trip down memory lane to chronicle the life of Australia's biggest telco.

  • Telstra's history from 1901 to 1992:
    1901: The Postmaster-General's Department (PMG) was established by the Commonwealth Government to manage all domestic telephone, telegraph and postal services.
    1946: The Commonwealth Government established the Overseas Telecommunications Commission to manage international telecommunications services.
    July 1975: The Commonwealth Government established two separate commissions to replace the PMG. Responsibility for postal services was transferred to the Australian Postal Commission (Australia Post), and the Australian Telecommunications Commission (ATC), trading as Telecom Australia, ran domestic telecommunication services.
    January 1989: the Australian Telecommunications Commission was renamed the Australian Telecommunications Corporation, still trading as Telecom.
    November 1991: The Australian Telecommunications Corporation was incorporated as an Australian public limited liability company.
    1992: The Overseas Telecommunications Commission merged with the Australian and Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (AOTC).
  • April 1993: The Australian and Overseas Telecommunications Corporation Limited was transformed and renamed as Telstra Corporation Limited, trading internationally as Telstra and in 1995, traded domestically as Telstra.
  • November 1997: Telstra underwent a partial privatisation following the opening of Australia's telecommunications markets to full competition in July 1997. The Commonwealth sold approximately 33 per cent of Telstra’s issued shares to the public.
  • October 1999: The Commonwealth sold up to 16.6 per cent of Telstra issued shares. The shares were also listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, the New Zealand Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
  • February 2004: [[artnid: 25705|Australian ISPs are in uproar after Telstra BigPond reduces its entry-level 256Kbps ADSL plan to $29.95 per month retail|new]]. The telco drops its equivalent wholesale price to $29.75 (ex GST).
  • March 2004: [[artnid: 23450|ACCC issues an anti-competitive notice on Telstra|new]]. Maximum fines are $10m for each contravention of the notice plus $1m per day while the notice continues.
  • April 2004: Telstra revises its wholesale pricing, introducing two new plans. The Protected Rates package is priced at $15.55 per month (ex GST) including 300MB of data. The Growth Option package gives wholesale customers discounts for signing up to higher-speed services. Access per port at 256/64Kbps speeds is charged at $27 (ex GST).
  • May 2004: ISPs respond angrily to reports that the ACCC is considering lifting the competition notice after the pricing changes, claiming the prices are still too high. Telstra waives the ADSL connection fee for new retail customers.
  • December 2004: Telstra drops its wholesale prices further to appease customers. Access charges are now reduced to $22 per port.
  • January 2005: Sydney-based broadband ISP, Independent Service Providers, announces it plans to lead a class action suit of aggrieved companies against Telstra's alleged anti-competitive practices. The following month, ACCC drops its competition notice on Telstra, ordering the telco to pay $6.5m in rebates to its wholesale customers. The industry watchdog claims Telstra has lowered ADSL wholesale prices by at least 30 per cent in the past year while also dropping regional area fees. The ACCC also insists Telstra notify it of any changes to pricing up to 15 days in advance. [[artnid:9315|ISPs react angrily to the ACCC’s decision to drop its anti-competitive notice and compare the fine to a parking ticket|new]].
  • July 2005: Solomon Dennis "Sol" Trujillo is appointed Telstra's Chief Executive Officer.
  • August 2006: ACCC rejected the access undertaking that Telstra had submitted for its Unconditioned Local Loop Service. In September, the telco applies to the Australian Competition Tribunal to consider whether the access undertaking submitted for its Unconditioned Local Loop Service should be accepted or rejected.
  • October 2006: Telstra launched Next G, the largest mobile network in Australia. Next G was built to replace Telstra's CDMA network which operated from 1999 until 28 April 2008.
  • November 2006: The Commonwealth’s remaining stake in Telstra was sold off as part of the T3 Share Offer. Telstra [[artnid:190750|unveils its limited ADSL 2+ network in Australia|new]]. Stay tuned for Part II of the timeline
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