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Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Telstra Group Limited, more commonly referred to as Telstra, is an Australian telecommunications company head quartered in Melbourne. The Telstra brand was formed in 1993 having originally been named the “Australian and Overseas Telecommunications Corporation” (AOTC). Telstra has grown to become the largest telecommunications provider in Australia, providing mobile, internet, and other services to millions of customers.

A photo of the Telstra Exchange Building in Perth, with the Telstra logo foregrounded.

Despite its success, Telstra has faced significant criticism and public outcry due to a range of issues, with between 50,000 to 100,000 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman made per year between 2010 and 2015.

One of the most prominent criticisms has been around customer service with many customers complaining about long wait times, poor service, and unresponsive call centres. The company has also faced backlash over its pricing and billing practices, with accusations of overcharging and hidden fees.


Telstra was originally a public company owned by the Australian government. However, the government began privatising Telstra in 1997, selling off shares to the public. This process was completed in 2011, when the government sold off virtually all of its remaining shares.

  • 1997: Telstra undergoes a partial privatisation (T1), wherein the government sold approximately 33% of its shares to the public

  • 1999: The government sells off a further 16.6% of Telstra (T2), with these shares also being listed on the Australian, New Zealand and New York Stock Exchanges

  • 2006: The government sells off an additional 31% of its shares (T3)

  • 2007: The commonwealths' remaining 17% share is transferred to a Future Fund

  • 2011: The Future Fund sells its remaining “above market weight” shares, reducing its holding to 0.8% and effectively completing Telstra’s privatisation.

Sources & Further Reading

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