Joint Media Release - Government tables response to the Regional Telecommunications Review report
The Turnbull Government today tabled its
response to the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Review report which made 12 key recommendations to improve telecommunications
access in regional, rural and remote Australia.
In its response to the report,
the Government has highlighted a number of key policy programmes which are
already improving telecommunications services in regional Australia, including:
the ongoing rollout of the national broadband network (nbn) which
continues to gather pace across the country. Regional Australians will see
benefits in the first half of this year with the launch of commercial services
on the ‘Sky Muster’ satellite, the first of two world-class satellites to be
launched by nbn;
the ongoing rollout of high-speed nbn fixed wireless broadband
the ongoing rollout of the Mobile Black Spot Programme, with
almost 500 new or upgraded mobile base stations to be switched on over the next
three years and a further $60 million committed to round 2 of the programme in
addition to the $100 million investment made under round 1.
The full impact of these
initiatives is only just beginning to be realised in regional areas, and will
continue to gather momentum over the coming years.
In its response, the
Government notes that adjustments need to be made to current
consumer safeguards to stay up-to-date with changes to available
telecommunications technologies and consumer expectations.
Commission has been asked to undertake an inquiry into the future requirements
of the Universal Services Obligation (USO) in an evolving telecommunications
market, with the Terms of Reference to be issued shortly.
The Government will also examine
the overall consumer safeguards framework to ensure that regulations are
fit-for-purpose and take into account ongoing developments in communications
Telecommunications plays an important role in
the social and economic development of rural and regional Australia, and the
Government remains committed to ensuring Australians living in these areas have
access to quality telecommunications services.
The Government response is available at www.communications.gov.au/regional-telecommunications-review