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The Future of the USO

On 25 November, ACCAN (the peak consumer body for telecommunications in Australia) released an Occasional Paper on the future of the universal service policy in Australia. That paper is on the Publications page ACCAN-USO

The CEO, Teresa Corbin, was kind enough to say:

“John (de Ridder) provided us with an analysis of options for a future universal service policy in Australia. It proved to be thought-provoking and will be very helpful for our work going forward.” – Teresa Corbin, CEO, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)

Since the concepts of availability, accessibility and affordability were enshrined around 40 years ago in the obligation on Telstra to provide a standard telephone service that meet these principles, a lot has changed. Mobiles are now the preferred means of communication and access to broadband on both fixed and broadband networks has become essential.

The need to revise USO policy is widely recognised; the Shiff Regional Telecommunications Review last month being the most recent example.

Six options are discussed in the Occasional Paper but the two most promising are the subject of this column at Economuse 2015-11-25