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Annual Report 2015/16

07 Case Studies

Case study 2:Regional Telecommunications Review

The 2015 Regional Telecommunications Review assessed telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia and identified access and consumer safeguards as key matters affecting people living in these areas.

The 2015 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee released an issues paper, which attracted 426 submissions, including responses to a short survey promoted through the Have Your Say consultation section on the Department’s website. Those submissions provided valuable insights to the Committee. The Committee also reached out to the community through:

  • a series of online webinar consultation sessions that provided people from anywhere in Australia an additional opportunity to participate
  • face-to-face meetings with regional representative groups and industry.

The Committee delivered its report to Government in August 2015.

The Government's response to the report highlighted key initiatives that are already improving telecommunications services in regional Australia, including the NBNDefinition:National Broadband Network rollout and the Mobile Black Spot Program, with round 3 of the program recently announced by the Government.

The Government's response also announced a Productivity Commission inquiry into the future direction of a universal service obligation in an evolving telecommunications market. The Productivity Commission commenced that inquiry, releasing an issues paper in June 2016. The Productivity Commission is scheduled to issue a draft report in December 2016 and a final report in April 2017. The Government response also proposed a review of the overall telecommunications consumer safeguard framework to make sure it is fit for purpose in a rapidly evolving sector. The review will be undertaken by the Department, with completion to occur at approximately the same time as completion of the Productivity Commission inquiry.

You can find the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Review report and the Government's response at www.communications.gov.au/regional-telecommunications-review

the issues paper attracted 426 submissions, including responses to a short survey promoted through the Have Your Say consultation.