Submission to the Productivity Commission Issues Paper June 2016 - Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation

Cradduck, Lucy (2016) Submission to the Productivity Commission Issues Paper June 2016 - Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation.

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The starting premise, for the government’s consideration as to Australia’s future requirements, is that the conversation should not be about voice services but more broadly as to what is necessary to enable access to internet services. Enabling access to internet services necessitates enabling access to the internet per se. In order to achieve appropriate access, the requisite mindset is one that, similarly to electricity and water provision, treats the provision of access to the internet as access to a utility service.

Acknowledging that, again similarly to the provision of water and electricity, access to the internet can be enabled by a variety of means, the focus should be on what is delivered (i.e. access to the internet, and thereby access to the various services, information and communications that it enables) and not on how it is delivered (i.e. cables, WiFi, mobile phone technologies, or something not yet invented). This also will assist with drafting the policy and related law/s, which will implement the policy, as it will enable these to be written in a technology neutral manner. In turn this will assist with future proofing both. The result being that these then will be best positioned to adapt to, and encompass, future developments.

The primary objective of a future policy should be to enable access to information and services (including VoIP) by those who want to access as, when and from where they require that access. Government’s attention, while needed as to how to transition from the existing USO commitments and provider, including ensuring provision of those services; should not be distracted from the need to create a policy for the longer term. Australia should grasp the opportunity to create a policy that is future proofed and without the baggage or concerns arising with the current USO. In this regard the new policy would be better called a universal access and service policy as this moves Australia from the past; focuses on what it enables (rather than the obligation on the entity tasked with the enabling); and is not merely restricted to voice services...

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ID Code: 97597
Item Type: Other
Refereed: No
Keywords: telecommunications, internet, broadband
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > TECHNOLOGY (100000) > COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES (100500) > Broadband and Modem Technology (100502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law not elsewhere classified (180199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 The Author
Deposited On: 25 Jul 2016 01:51
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2016 01:51

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