Telstra Media

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Telstra Media
Product of Telstra
IndustryTelecommunications / Media
Founded1996 as Telstra Corporation
Key people
Andy Penn
Group Managing Director
ServicesInternet service provider
Online Television
Number of employees
10,500 (2007)

Telstra Media (formerly known as BigPond) is an Australian Internet service provider and a product of Telstra. It is Australia's largest[1][citation needed] ISP and is based in Melbourne. The BigPond brand has been in the process of being phased out in favour of full Telstra branding since 2013. As of May 2016, BigPond Movies is the only remaining service using BigPond branding.[2]


Note that the remainder of the article has not been changed to reflect the name change from BigPond to Telstra Media.

Telstra Media offers five types of Internet access;

  • Cable – BigPond is Australia's largest provider of Cable Internet access, which covers parts of Australia's main cities (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and the Gold Coast). Speeds available are 'Turbo' (8 Mbit/s downstream, 128 kbit/s upstream), 'Elite' (30 Mbit/s down, 1 Mbit/s up) and 'Ultimate' (100 Mbit/s down, 2 Mbit/s up).
  • ADSL – BigPond provides both ADSL and ADSL2+ services where available, with speeds ranging from 256 kbit/s down/64 kbit/s up to 20 Mbit/s down/1 Mbit/s up. The current speeds available on ADSL plans that BigPond offers are "up to" 1.5 Mbit/s down/256 kbit/s up, "up to" 8 Mbit/s down/384 kbit/s up and "up to" 20 Mbit/s down/1 Mbit/s up.
Naked DSL – A six-week trial of two kinds of naked DSL to "assess customer demand" was launched on 1 June 2010. 'Pure DSL' having the ability to receive incoming calls and make emergency calls, and 'Naked DSL' being offered without a dial tone.[3]
  • Mobile Broadband – Through Telstra's Next G network, BigPond provides the largest wireless network coverage in Australia, reaching 99% of the population.[4] Download speeds on the 3G network range from 256 kbit/s to 3.5 Mbit/s in regional and interurban areas, and "up to" 21 Mbit/s in metropolitan and city areas. Download speeds on the 4G Network are "up to" 40Mbit/s. BigPond also provides wireless 'hot spots'.[5]
  • Satellite – Bigpond provides Satellite internet mainly for regional customers who are too far away from the exchange to get ADSL, and cannot get Cable. Satellite is delivered via 2-way Satellite with speeds ranging from 256 kbit/s down/64 kbit/s up to 800 kbit/s down/128 kbit/s up.[6]
  • Dialup – BigPond has moved customers off dialup to a broadband platform, and in 2006 its broadband customers surpassed the number of dialup customers.

Customer service[edit]

In 2007 a survey of 14,000 people by PC Authority magazine found BigPond users rated poorly for customer service, and less than a third considered their service a value for the money. However, BigPond argued that the survey's structure had encouraged people to provide extreme opinions.[7]

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reported 14,692 complaints against Telstra BigPond for the period 1 January 2009 – 31 March 2009.[8] This reflected 47.5% of all complaints against all internet service providers reported to the TIO in Australia in that period. Customer Service, Complaints Handling, Faults & Provision accounted for 8,103 complaints in that period.

BigPond uses offshore call centres to provide most of their technical support. The Technical Support 133933 number connects through a VoIP line to support staff based in The Philippines, by call centre outsource companies, TeleTech & Teleperformance.[9] Technical Support officers have limited ability to resolve issues and cannot refer any issue to a Complaint Handling Officer or Customer Advocate. If the support call relates to network issues the Technical Support team cannot take any action to resolve the problem.[citation needed]

In November 2009 Telstra chief executive David Thodey promised a "new Telstra" which will be much more responsive to its customers in a bid to improve the telco's corporate reputation, stating that the new mantra at Telstra would be "customer service, customer service, customer service", and announcing increases in speed and data allowances for BigPond customers.[10]


BigPond Music[edit]

BigPond operated a music download store, offering 15 million tracks encoded at either 256kbit/s or 320kbit/s in MP3 format.

In April 2012, MOG announced a partnership with Telstra to bring MOG to Australia, the first region outside of the US to have access.[11] Telstra and MOG launched under the BigPond Music branding on 21 June 2012.[12] The BigPond Music service ended in late 2014.

BigPond Games and GameArena[edit]

GameArena was a website dedicated to video gaming operating under the BigPond brand that was managed by Mammoth Media and based on the east coast of Australia. The site provided news, downloads and servers primarily for the PC, and Mac, though it later branched out to include console sites. GameArena provided an online game shop GameNow, which sported various benefits to Telstra customers.[13]

Usage of the GameArena file library, gaming servers and booking service were freely available to anyone, but provided specific advantages to Telstra customers such as preference in downloads and unmetered usage, as well as various bonuses in competitions. In 2005, GameArena went through a new shift with the merging of GameNow and Gameshop into itself. The name became simply BigPond GameArena.[14]

GameArena once operated over 100 gaming servers, which were monitored by a volunteer force of administrators, known as GameOps. GameCreate was a service offered free of charge where users may book a server for a specific game for a 2-hour period of time. This server was private and could be used for either ladder training or social events.[15]

GameArena servers and its website closed on 20 October 2014.[16]

The Pond in Second Life[edit]

Telstra BigPond owned and operated a number of virtual islands in the online game Second Life[17] for approximately three years. BigPond closed its Second Life presence in December 2009.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lawley, Brian (2012). 42 Rules of Product Management (2nd Edition). Happy About. ISBN 9781607730910.
  2. ^ Coyne, Allie (18 May 2016). "Telstra hits another nail in BigPond coffin". IT News. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Telstra BigPond trials naked DSL". Ben Grubb, 2 June 2010. Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Mobile Broadband Coverage". Telstra. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Telstra Wireless Hotspots". Archived from the original on 28 December 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Satellite plans and pricing". Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-19.
  7. ^ Ramadge, A (7 December 2007). "Telstra's BigPond bombs out with consumers". Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 21 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Schneiders, Ben (10 October 2008). "Telstra jobs head to Philippines". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  10. ^ Korporaal, Glenda (27 November 2009). "ETS pushes Telstra issue to parliamentary backburner". The Australian. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) ITWire article on GameNow
  14. ^ PC World GameArena article
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) GameArena list of servers
  16. ^ "Telstra confirms it is closing Game Arena". MCV Pacific. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  17. ^ "The Pond on Second Life". Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  18. ^ Hearn, Louisa (17 November 2009). "BigPond pulls plug on Second Life". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 20 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.

External links[edit]