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Optus is a telephone company in Australia that was the first company to compete against Telstra after deregulation. They had a big campaign in Sydney to vote "1" for Optus, which was based on a kind of poll to determine whether or not they wanted to have Optus as an alternative to Telstra. The vote succeeded and Optus was allowed in. This campaign spread nationwide after a similar poll in Melbourne was also successful.

In spite of this, Optus is not as popular as Telstra as a phone service. This is probably related to Telstra's monopoly of Australia's phone networks, based on Telecom, the public version of Telstra, still controlling the nation's phone lines.

Optus also operates their own ISP, which, for Optus members only, offers cheaper prices than Telstra's bigpond service. Optus is not a major ISP in Australia, however, although it is used by several businesses because it is cheaper.

Optus offers flexibility with their services, which is their main selling point. For example you can get 3 hours to USA for $6 if you select that as an option. They do not care if you call someone who uses Optus, Telstra or anything else - it is all the same price. The same is true of their services to mobile phones. They still reward reliability however. Calls from Optus to Optus are slightly cheaper than Optus to Telstra.

Optus also prides itself on its customer service. Whilst Telstra will generally give its customers the finger and ignore all requests unless they are associated with legal action, Optus will jump at any request to try to keep its customers.