Telstra announced that all Australians can now make calls right across the country for free on Telstra’s network of more than 15,000 payphones.
The Australian Labor Party has criticised the Coalition Government's approach to reform of the Universal Service Obligation, pointing out that it had managed to produce only a two-page response to the Productivity Commission's 450-page inquiry report into the USO.
Vodafone has called on Australia's federal government to act "following yet another damning USO report".
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) says "there is a lack of clear evidence that a net public benefit has been realised as a direct result of the introduction of the [Telstra USO Performance Agreement] TUSOPA".
In the wake of its legal action against the ACCC in support of a domestic roaming declaration, Vodafone Hutchison Australia has issued a call for its mobile users in regional Australia to lobby their local federal government MP.
Australia's familiar network of payphone booths will disappear if the Productivity Commission's recommendation to scrap the voice-based telecommunications universal service obligation is accepted by the government.
Vodafone has led the industry chorus rejoicing at the Productivity Commission’s recommendations for the winding up of the telecoms Universal Service Obligations, describing the commission’s report as the “final nail in the coffin” for the current USO.
The Rural, Regional and Remote Communications Coalition has added its voice to those raising concern over proposed changes to the telecommunications Universal Service Obligation, expressing concern that reliable home phone services in the bush may be put at risk.
The direction that the Productivity Commission has indicated the Universal Service Obligation will take may put some consumers at risk of having reduced services, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.
With the election over and the Turnbull government turning its attention to policy, Internet Australia has renewed its call for the telecommunications Universal Service Obligation to be expanded to include a right to Internet access via fast and affordable broadband – and for government, not industry, to foot the bill to ensure Internet access is available to everyone.
Much to the chagrin of Telstra, which stands to lose hundreds of millions in subsidies, Vodafone has welcomed the Federal Government's response to the Regional Telecommunications Review recommendations, in which it announced a review of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) by the Productivity Commission.
The joint Government and industry-funded Universal Service Obligation (USO), designed to provide a minimum standard of telecoms services to regional and rural Australia, should be shifted from fixed line carriers - mainly Telstra - to the mobile operators, according to a new Federal Government funded report.
A review of the adequacy of telecommunications services in regional Australia has made a dozen recommendations to improve mobile coverage, maximise benefits from the NBN rollout and develop consumer safeguards.
The Government has named the members of the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency - the body that, from 1 July, will oversee the provision, by Telstra, of telecommunications services covered by the Universal Service Obligation.
Market research firm Telsyte has revised downwards is forecasts for take-up of the NBN fibre network on the basis of expected delays in decommissioning of Telstra copper.
Telstra has signed definitive agreements with NBN Co and the Commonwealth for its participation in the rollout of the National Broadband Network.
NBN Co has awarded Ericsson a contract to roll out a TD-LTE network to serve the four percent of premises scheduled for wireless coverage in NBN Co's business plan. The initial contract is for 12 months only but could be worth up to $1.1b over 10 years.
Communications minister, senator Stephen Conroy, has released a discussion paper on proposals for the Universal Service Obligation reforms that will be needed if the agreement with Telstra over its role in the NBN is consummated.
Telstra is hoping to be able to put its $11b deal with the Government for its participation in the NBN to a shareholder vote by June 2011.
The Government has revealed more details of its plans for the new USO company, including that it will contract provision of services to Telstra for the first 10 years of its operation.
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