10 November 2023

Telecommunications is an essential service and vital for so many small businesses and the absence of this service has a significant economic cost, says the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson.

“The response by Optus is inadequate and not sufficiently dealt with by an offer of extra data,” Mr Billson said.

“Small businesses rely on telecommunications as an essential service, but they have been poorly served by Optus throughout this event and some have suffered a significant economic cost.

“We reject suggestions by Optus that the loss for a small business is $2 a day. This is what Optus charges for their services, not what the consequences and loss of that service has cost small businesses in lost income and customers.

“More needs to be done to acknowledge this impact on the livelihoods of our small and family businesses with a more tailored response.

“Australia’s 2.5 million small businesses provide jobs for 5.1 million people and employ 42% of all apprentices and trainees in training – nearly double the amount supported by a big business. They deserve respect and not to be treated in such a shabby way by Optus.”

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