Telstra Launches Propaganda Site
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In an effort to keep on the front foot in its PR war against majority shareholder The Federal Government representing the people of Australia, Telstra has launched a web site to host a forum for discussion of Telecommunications regulation.

Targeted at consumers, the website will “better inform and engage Australian consumers in the debate about the importance of telecommunications to their lives and the national economy” according to a release from the company.

Phil Burgess, Group Managing Director, Public Policy & Communications, said in a statement on the site that the initiative came about following a conversation he had with a shareholder during which the shareholder complained that there was not enough information that he could use.

“We need more information that we can use. The stuff we get from Telstra is all about numbers and finances. The stuff in the newspapers is about politics. We need information that helps us know what is possible and what we are missing and how life could be better if we all had broadband and the new services you talk about – and if we could find a way to fix the systems we have now, because some don’t work the way they should. So keep it going,” Burgess quotes his informant.

The site already contains a substantial amount of information including blogs from Telstra staff, quirky facts and figures, speeches by Telstra staff and comment by an array of noteable industry and business commentators etc.

The site is open to comment from those with views that diverge from Sol’s and his Amigos and even from those who would recommend Telstra shares to their mother.

Contributed comment is moderated so it remains to be seen how open Telstra will be about decenting views.

The site also features a spot poll “Do you think Australia is over regulated?” (not Australian Telecommunications mind you the whole of the country). When we tried it we found that if your browser blocks cookies you can refresh the page and vote as often as you like.

The site also encourages visitors to “spread the word”.