Telstra seem to have a problem with sending free disaster sms - since all my optus sms messages in australia are free couldn't optus do this job for the Queensland Government?
The 3 Telcos do this, its not just Telstra.
Each Telco provides the list of active services on the tower, this is se t through to the relevand body and the emergency sms for each area are sent.
As for who pays - just like any business someone has to pay, these systems require mainternance and ongoing running costs.
The government uses a tender process then selects the tender vendor for the contract.
Surely you cannot expect the telcos to pay for this?
I guess its a matter of degree. Not long ago the cost of sending an SMS was 25c. The cost to the Telco was roughly 0c. A few trillion SMS sent world wide made for a lucrative business.
Now days the governament want to piggy back an existing system to try save lives. Telcos understandably want to maximise the bottom line. But IMO their wish for 'compensation' has little correlation to what they are actually paying. Billions of people every day recieve spam SMS and calls because Telcos world wide are happy to "sell" zero cost SMS for a few micro cents.
Guess we'll see who wins this bun fight.