Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 April 2019


Universal Service Obligation; Order for the Production of Documents

12:50 pm

Photo of Anne RustonAnne Ruston (SA, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | Hansard source

The government has decided that the Universal Service Guarantee will retain the current universal service obligation arrangements until more cost-effective arrangements that are not in any way a detriment to services are identified. This requires careful work to build upon the government commissioned report of the Productivity Commission. The current arrangements for voice services and payphones will be retained because they are important to regional and rural communities. There is scope to carefully examine payphone locations, particularly given the strong uptake of mobile services, and the government will undertake further work in this area. Releasing the high-level cost modelling of the universal service obligation reform options and the cost impacts on NBN Co of servicing additional ADSL costs could significantly compromise any future negotiations with industry over the future delivery of the voice, payphone and broadband services covered by the USG. This is seen as a real, not hypothetical, risk. Undermining the Commonwealth's future negotiating position would have an effect contrary to the motion's intent of advancing USO reforms and achieving a long— (Time expired)

Question agreed to.


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