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Telstra is the private company that was previously known as Telecom, and is a phone company in Australia. Telstra also operates Bigpond internet and is involved in pay TV through an alliance with Foxtel. Telecom still controls all of Australia's phone lines, hence Telstra effectively has a monopoly of Australia's phone services because of this. This is used both as the main reason to go with Telstra (as they control it all) as well as the main reason not to go with them (as they are cheating). Australia's telephone system was deregulated in about 1990.

Telstra is Australia's largest phone company. They control all of Australia's telephone lines. The company is a great stock market success ever since the Australian Federal government sold it privately. The company has come under great scrutiny with a wide variety of complaints from consumers, and, based on complaints, is easily the worst of Australia's phone companies. They have lost several fairly high profile court cases in relation to them mis-billing customers.

Telstra Bigpond is an internet company that was started by Telstra soon after they became privatised, and sought to control Australia's internet presence, which was at that point controlled almost exclusively by Ozemail. Whilst Bigpond today remains as one of Australia's top 2 or 3 internet companies, they have never managed to get rid of Ozemail from number 1. Bigpond, like Telstra itself, has also been accused of bad billing and the like.

Telstra's mobile service covers over 98% of the Australian continent, while other services such as Optus and AAPT only cover 90-95%. This is a great selling point for Telstra mobile in comparison to other services. Telstra mobile is generally more expensive than other mobile services, however, and, like everything else to do with Telstra, they require that you do everything to do with Telstra. For example, they have a 1 cent text deal, which only works for other Telstra mobile phones. Optus mobile in comparison has 20 cent texts but reduces it by 6x if you buy in bulk, but it is the same for any mobile you call, thus making it 3c for Optus to Telstra while it is 20c from Telstra to Optus.

Telstra also has a deal with Foxtel and its affiliate Austar for pay TV services in Australia. If you are a Telstra customer you can get pay TV services more cheaply than you otherwise would.

Telstra rewards loyalty with all of their products, which is both their biggest selling point and the greatest reason that people criticise them. They give discounts for each additional service that you add for them. However, if you have Telstra for one thing but Optus or something else for something else, they will severely disadvantage you.