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Australia sets out telecoms reform for broadband

Australia’s government has introduced into parliament a comprehensive telecoms reform package “that will ensure all Australians can access sustainably funded high-speed broadband services, regardless of where they live”. The bills have three key outcomes: the Regional Broadband Scheme (RBS) will provide sustainable funding for the loss-making National Broadband Network (NBN) fixed wireless and satellite networks in regional Australia; the creation of ‘Statutory Infrastructure Provider' (SIP) obligations will ensure that all Australians are able to order a high-speed broadband service regardless of where they live, and that NBN becomes the default SIP as the network is rolled out; and reform of the ‘level playing field' rules will ensure that high-speed broadband network operators have separate wholesale/retail businesses (subject to competition agency oversight), “providing competition and choice for consumers and investment certainty for network builders”. The outdated universal service obligation (USO) provides every Australian with access to a voice-only standard telephone service, and the new SIP obligations will ensure that every Australian can access high-speed broadband as the NBN is rolled out, says a release from the Department of Communications and the Arts. Read more

  • Tuesday, 18 July 2017

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