With ‘social distancing’ quickly becoming the buzz word of the week and working from home now an essential requirement for many of us, the question is – how many of us have suitable data packages to facilitate accessing and downloading company files and joining online video meetings? Having to work from home for a prolonged period is probably alien to many. Indeed, even those with home data packages to stream Netflix and similar, may be pushed over their limits with now needing to share the data with a number of members of their family using the same network, to continue their individual job functions.
Foreseeing the likelihood of this becoming an issue for much of the population, leading telecoms providers Optus and Telstra have committed to ‘free COVID-19 offers’ to enable customers to maintain business as usual in terms of their personal and professional lives. Good news for both employers and their employees who may have been worrying how to manage their workload. Telstra, in particular, have focused on an offering to the elderly as a demographic who are high risk from the virus. Enabling them to remain connected to family and friends during self-isolation is a nice touch from the provider.
Note from Optus spokesperson
"We understand how much it means to customers to stay connected with colleagues, classmates, family and friends. We know there are going to be bigger demands on our network - and we are prepared for this
For our Optus NBN residential and 5G Home customers, our packages already provide unlimited data.
For our mobile subscribers, I'd encourage you to make sure the package of data and features you have selected is right for you and your family during this period and contact us if you have any questions. To play our part in supporting your access needs, we are giving all eligible mobile subscribers a one off 20GB of free extra data which can be activated within My Optus app anytime during the month of April and valid for 30 days from activation.
For our eligible Prepaid customers, we will also be offering 10GB of additional data when you recharge $40 or more during the month of April 2020."
As people around Australia increasingly begin working and studying from home or self-isolating…demand for connectivity is rising rapidly. To play our part, Telstra is giving our consumer and small business customers additional data as well as offering unlimited home phone calls to pensioners. We want to help our customers, who find themselves having to work from home, stay connected.
From Thursday 19 March we are providing our consumer and small business home broadband customers (ADSL, NBN and Cable) with unlimited data at no additional charge on their plan until 30 April 2020. The data, which will be provided automatically, will help facilitate videoconferencing; voice over Wi-Fi, and cloud connectivity, all important tools when working from home or in isolation.
We are also giving our consumer and small business mobile customers more data. Post-paid customers (both handheld and mobile broadband) can receive an extra 25GB of data on their plan to use in Australia within 30 days to facilitate the need for a more mobile workforce. Post-paid customers can apply for the extra data via our Telstra 24×7 and My Telstra Apps from Thursday until 31 March and the data will be available within 24-48 hours.
Telstra Pre-paid customers with an active recharge of $40+ can get 10GB of additional data to use in Australia within 28-30 days (depending on your plan). Eligible pre-paid customers can apply for the extra data via our Telstra 24×7 and My Telstra Apps from Thursday until 31 March and the offer will be applied to customer accounts within 24-48 hours.
Eligible pensioners with a Telstra home phone plan will also be able to make unlimited local, national and 13/1300 calls, and calls to Australian mobiles, from their home phone in Australia to make staying in touch with friends and family simpler. This is available from Thursday until the 30th April.
With data traffic increasing, we are encouraging customers to make use of the self-service tools available on the latest Telstra 24×7 apps for iOS and Android. This allows customers to check account information and pay bills while easing the burden on our call centres.
If you are currently working from home and are looking for some guidance on how to adapt we have laid out several considerations that we find have worked for our team (who are well versed in the remote working department). Additionally, if you are a business owner or manager looking for ways to improve your remote workplace we have put together a few "emergency tips" that may be worth considering in the short-term.