In this first report the committee recommends major changes to telecommunications policy and legislation to ensure ongoing equitable access to broadband, mobile and fixed voice telephony and payphones across the country, and particularly for individuals and businesses in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia.
The existing legislative and regulatory arrangements for universal service are increasingly strained by the importance of mobile telephony and broadband services, the privatisation of Telstra, and the ongoing development of a competitive telecommunications market. With the significant changes likely to occur from the Australian government?s proposed National Broadband Network (NBN) there is now an opportunity to revolutionise the availability and quality of telecommunications services in this country, including all of regional Australia. The committee?s proposals are based on the belief that competitive markets are best able to deliver telecommunications services. Government interventions should be limited to where this is necessary to ensure service availability.