Tuesday, 04 August 2020 12:31

Government opens applications for alternative voice services trials

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The Australian Government has called for applications under the Alternative Voice Services Trials program aimed at testing new ways of delivering voice services in rural and remote Australia.

The Alternative Voice Services Trials program was announced as part of the Government’s response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review, which identified a need to address the performance and longevity of the current high capacity radio concentrator networks.

The Government is providing $2 million in funding for the trials as part of the $220 million Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity Package.

The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher says the program aims to encourage competition and assess technology options to deliver improved services for rural and remote communities.



“Alternative voice services could be delivered using existing or new radiocommunications and satellite technologies to deliver improved service quality, greater reliability, more redundancy and greater functionality,” Minister Fletcher said.

And Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, the Mark Coulton, said the trials will focus on rural and remote areas outside NBN Co’s fixed line footprint, including areas serviced by Telstra’s high capacity radio concentrator (HCRC) network. 

“This is an opportunity for the telecommunications industry to demonstrate what it can offer consumers and I strongly encourage service providers to come forward and apply,” Minister Coulton said.

“I look forward to chairing a stakeholder reference group, which will provide an important sounding board for matters affecting rural and remote consumers.”

The program guidelines are available on GrantConnect, with applications closing on 14 September.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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