Telstra reconnects call diversion feature for wildlife rescue group FAWNA

Reinstalled: FAWNA president Meredith Ryan says Telstra has reinstalled a much-needed remote call diversion facility to its emergency crisis line.
Reinstalled: FAWNA president Meredith Ryan says Telstra has reinstalled a much-needed remote call diversion facility to its emergency crisis line.

The wildlife rescue group FAWNA says it is "thankful" of being able to provide a speedy response to injured and orphaned wildlife after Telstra reinstated its remote diversion feature to its 24 hour crisis line.

The telecommunication giant restored the vital service on Friday.

Telstra had withdrawn the service on September 1, FAWNA president Meredith Ryan said.

"The reason given by Telstra for the change to the system successfully operating for the last decade is that the remote diversion facility was deactivated as not compatible with NBN," Mrs Ryan said.

"FAWNA has dreaded the need to transport to a new and affordable rescue telephone system when the relevant exchange transports to the NBN in June 2019, but the volunteer group has been hit unexpectedly nine months earlier.

"September is our peak month for calls into and out of FAWNA."

A Telstra spokesperson said FAWNA had been notified about their decision via their last bill notice.

It says the decision to halt the service was based on the decision to retire "a number of PSTN features in order to align features across our PSTN and nbn™ services". 

"This includes the call forwarding feature that FAWNA have been using," a Telstra spokesperson said.

"The information about the product changes were also available on our website.

The information about the product changes were also available on our website.

A Telstra spokesperson

"Essentially, the use of these PSTN features is low, and has been steadily declining over the years as technology changes the way we communicate, so as we move to the nbn it makes sense to retire these types of products. 

"With the growth of applications and messaging platforms, and the expansion of smartphone inclusions such as unlimited voice calls/texts, customers are increasingly selecting the convenience of mobile phones and smart messaging apps in order to communicate."

Telstra's removal of the feature put speedy response to injured and orphaned wildlife at risk and the reason given was that the feature was not compatible with NBN services, Mrs Ryan said.

"During the week we were notified of three Northern NSW wildlife rescue groups and one group in the Snowy Mountains were similarly affected.  

"It is somewhat ironic that migration to an NBN service at twice the price will restore the remote phone diversion capability.

"We are thankful that we can now go about our 24/7 volunteer wildlife rescue business as usual while we wait the four to eight weeks for installation of the NBN service".

The rescue group thanks everyone who helped secure this outcome that keeps the local volunteer wildlife rescue line 6581 4141 open 24/7.

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