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Singtel Optus Pty Limited (more commonly referred to as just Optus), is one of Australia's largest telecommunications companies with more than 10 million mobile customers. Despite Optus’ tracing its origins to the government-owned AUSSAT organisation in the 1980s, Optus has been entirely owned by the Singaporean communications company, Singtel, since its successful takeover bid in 2001. 

The Optus Logo with the text "Optus" foregrounded.

Misleading Claims About Home Internet Disconnections

In May of 2018 Optus emailed almost 140,000 of its own mobile customers and claimed that their existing home broadband services, those provided by Optus’ competitors, would be “disconnected very soon.” 

The email then encouraged the recipient to switch their home broadband service to Optus NBN Broadband. The Australian Federal Court found these emails to be deceptive as the customers were not in reality facing an immediate disconnection of their existing service. 

Chair of the ACCC, Rod Sims, stated that the telecommunications industry should be assisting customers with regards to the transition to the NBN instead of  misleading them:

“We took this case against Optus because we were concerned its emails created a false sense of urgency for consumers and may have discouraged them from shopping around for the best deal available.”

Cyber Hack

In September of 2022 Optus suffered one of the largest cyber attacks in Australia’s history which resulted in a data breach affecting up to 10 million Australian customers.The attacked led to an internal review within Optus into the hack, the resignation of Optus CEO, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, an investigation by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, and the Australian government enacting emergency regulations to deal with future attacks. 

Sources & Further Reading

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