Telstra to provide rebate, free AV to BigPond customers

Telstra has announced it will provide all of its BigPond Internet customers with a two-week rebate on their monthly service bill, as well as access to free antivirus, firewall and spam filters as compensation for e-mail service disruptions which have occurred over the past fortnight.

At a linked press conference held across Sydney and Melbourne on Friday, the ISP also confirmed the e-mail service disruptions were the result of a massive increase in e-mail traffic derived from the Swen worm.

Telstra claimed the Swen worm has contributed a 20 to 30 per cent increase in e-mail traffic across its BigPond mail service, resulting in massive delays to both the delivery and receipt of its customers’ e-mails.

BigPond broadband chief Justin Milne said the provision of antivirus, spam and firewall filters to all of its customers would help cut down the number of virus infected e-mails hitting their inboxes.

Access to the software will be available for three months free of charge. Customers wishing to continue using these products after the three month period will be charged $2.50 on top of their monthly usage bill.

As well as providing customers with a credit rebate and antivirus software, Milne said Telstra will have increased its network capacity across its mail service by 30 per cent by the end of this weekend.

By the end of 2003, Telstra will have doubled the capacity of its e-mail network compared to that in place at the beginning of October, he added.

Although the ISP’s e-mail servers have been running “up to speed” over the past two days, individual users may still experience some delays, Milne said.

Telstra currently has almost 1.5 million customers accessing e-mails across its network. The cost of providing both the credit rebate and antivirus software is estimated at $25 million, Telstra said.

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