This is the refereed paper that appears in the September 2017 issue of the Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy Safetynet AJTDE
Rural and remote areas will continue to struggle to keep up with urban telecommunications despite the progress that has been made with initiatives such as the Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) and the NBN fixed wireless and satellite. A more radical approach is needed as we consider updating the Universal Service Obligation, public safety network options and mobile roaming. Instead of more expensive small gains at the margin, or counter productive roaming arrangements, we should take a large step forward by having the Commonwealth, States and MNOs work together.
To read more, click Economuse 2017-2-03-safety net
I have had the good fortune to work with Bob James (we developed the TransAct NBN Mark I business case) and Robin Eckermann (the Australian father of FTTN – 10 years ahead of the Commonwealth).
We have developed the idea attached; which could be a game changer for rural and remote customers. The concept is novel but not rocket science. Aceptance and execution will be tricky.
This one page Economuse draws attention to the $3oom pa paid to Telstra for the “copper continuity obligation”, which maintains fixed copper services outside the NBN fixed network footprint. It suggests that changes to the definition of the USO and the growing availability of mobile services mean that there may be savings possible in a renegotiated contract. See Economuse 2016-07-14
The Productivity Commission is taking submissions on the policy for the universal service obligation (USO). Submissions are due by 21 July. The draft report is expected in December with a final report to the Commonwealth bu April 2017.
My thoughts on the future of the USO are expressed at length in my Occasional Paper for ACCAN (see my publications page). But, I have submitted some key point in this 3 page submission USO-Prod.Com.July-2016