7 November 2011

Universal Service Policy in the National Broadband Network Environment – Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

On 2 November 2011, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy introduced a package of reforms to ensure that basic universal telecommunication services are provided during and after the roll out of the National Broadband Network.

These basic services include access to the ‘000’ emergency call service, access to a standard telephone service, payphones and phone services for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. The services will be funded through a combination of Government funding and the consolidation of two existing industry levies. A new government entity, the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency (TUSMA), will be responsible for administering contracts and/or grants for these services. The new arrangements will apply from July 2012.

The Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) contains analysis on a number of regulatory options to fund basic telecommunications services.

The RIS was prepared by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and has been assessed as adequate by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

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