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Desperate times - Telstra mobilises engineers to clean exchanges

Members have recently brought the Telecommunications News' attention to Telstra’s latest efforts in the exchange maintenance area.

According to Telstra’s own publications, engineers from the Assets and Facilities Management Group have been happily shaking off the shackles of their desk-bound existences and heading out to address the challenge posed by Telstra’s dilapidated exchange buildings  - “removing graffiti, cleaning toilets, painting, mopping and mowing lawns”.

Whew! Getting their hands dirty – literally.

At first the Telecommunications News thought that the initiative might have a political dimension, rather like the idea of sending the intellectuals out into the countryside to learn from the toilers in the fields.

On reflection, it seems more likely to be a cost-saving exercise.

Last year, Telstra made a net profit of $3.9 billion, up 12.9% on the previous year’s result.

Some estimates suggest that its current NBN agreements could yield it payments of up to $98 billion over the next 55 years.

And yet it relies on volunteers to maintain its exchange buildings, once the pride of the national network.

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