Guaranteed access to broadband services for all Australians is a step closer after a Senate Committee recommended the Telecommunications Reform Package be passed by Parliament.
The recommendation was welcomed by the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC).
“We are pleased the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee has taken this view,” National Farmers’ Federation President, Fiona Simson said.
“In effect, this new obligation will, for the first time, legally ensure all Australians have access to broadband.
“Most pleasing was the emphasis placed on submissions from rural, regional and remote bodies, including the RRRCC, in the Committee’s report.”
Australian Communication Consumers Action Network (ACCAN) Chief Executive Teresa Corbin said the package was overall, positive for bush consumers.
“We believe the package will help ensure broadband services in regional, rural and remote Australia will be sustainably funded into the future.”
Ms Corbin said the onus was now on the Parliament to bring the package into effect.
“As a Coalition we have, and continue to, work tirelessly to inform parliamentarians of the challenging state of telecommunications infrastructure in the bush.
“Better bush telecommunications are vital, and in need of legislative protections.”
Ms Simson said modern and effective telecommunications infrastructure promised to unlock economic growth for rural, regional and remote Australia.
“We believe this package offers an important step towards achieving this growth.”