Move over Telstra because there’s a new kid in town focused on delivering traditional, personalised communication services to people living in rural and regional Australia.
Southern Phone Company managing director Mark Warren says his company also has a strong track record of returning profits to rural and regional communities rather than feeding shareholder demands, like larger telecommunication companies.
“We are a regional based telecommunications company that offers access to networks from Telstra and Optus and Vodafone, but actually employ people locally to ensure we maintain the best customer service levels in the industry,” he said.
Mr Warren was driven to speak up recently about his company’s agenda after reading an article detailing Telstra CEO Andy Penn’s briefing to shareholders outlining plans to cut costs by increasing customer service levels through computers, rather than people.
The article said due to revenue falls in recent times, Telstra had been forced to replace redundant jobs by moving them overseas and increase automation.
Mr Warren said a Fairfax Media article published on October 30 represented the reverse of his company’s ethos of “people over computers”.
He said the company, based at Moruya south of Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast, had a unique local focus and structure, being government owned by 41 local councils.
“Our reason for being is to create quality jobs in regional Australia, provide great value products and services to regional Australia and then return the profits we make to regional and rural communities,” he said.
“In the last 12 years we have done a good job of achieving these outcomes.