Importantly, it outlines the practical individual policy steps that government can take in order to achieve the outcome of accessible broadband for all. Within a relatively short period of time, broadband services have ceased to be a luxury and are now a necessity for most Australians. However, the availability of high quality services is geographically limited, the usage restrictions on services can be very confusing, the availability of equipment meeting the needs of people with disabilities is low, and current affordability measures are lacking. Disadvantaged Australians who have much to gain from access to broadband are missing out and will continue to do so without a policy commitment from governments to ensure equitable access to broadband.
This paper discusses the importance of having a strategic plan to ensure broadband can be, and is, accessible for all Australians. It identifies the benchmark areas that must be addressed, namely: universal availability; technology quality of service; regulatory arrangements; affordability; service offerings; equipment; support programs and training; and content accessibility. Importantly, it outlines the practical individual policy steps that government can take in order to achieve the outcome of accessible broadband for all.