Local, Independant and Effective
April 29, 2016
Contact: Simon Crase

Improving telecommunications requires USO reform:

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Productivity Commission inquiry announced today into the Universal Service Obligation (USO). This is in direct response to the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee report (RTIRC). Stronger customer service guarantees and USO reform were recommended in the report.

“We need a strong USO and customer service guarantees to ensure people and businesses in rural and regional Australia have equitable telecommunications services,” Ms McGowan said.

“The NBN will change the way people access telecommunications in rural and regional areas.

Ms McGowan has called again for the USO to be expanded to include mobile phone coverage and internet access. The current USO only applies to landlines.

“Government must support universal access for telecommunications to be equitable regardless of where you live in Australia, you should be able to use your mobile phone,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan said the Productivity Commission Inquiry was vital for advancing telecommunications reform. Ms McGowan is encouraging community input when Inquiry consultation process begins. The Productivity Commission is due to report within 12 months.

Terms of reference are available here.


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