Oz Senate signs off USO legislation
NBN legislative jigsaw complete
The last important legislative component of the Australian government’s National Broadband Network is in place, with the Senate yesterday passing legislation needed to put new universal service arrangements in place.
The legislation establishes a new agency, TUSMA (the Telecommunications Universal Services Management Agency), which will assume responsibility for ensuring Australians’ access to services. This will replace the legacy regime under which Telstra was tasked with delivering universal service.
As well as ensuring access to basic telephone services and that payphones don’t pass completely into cultural history, TUSMA will be responsible for ensuring that Telstra continues to offer emergency call services, and to maintain the relay service provided for the hearing-impaired.
The agency will also be responsible for the continuity of services during the transition to the NBN.
The current universal service regime is funded by levies on carriers, one of which is calculated according to carrier revenue. The federal government will supplement the funding with an initial $AU50 million annually until 2014, and $AU100 million annually after that.
The new arrangements will also replace the two levies on telecommunications carriers, used to calculate their USO contributions, with a single levy. ®
It's hard to get concrete info on what the NBN is going to cost individual and business consumers. If the information coming out of Tasmania is any guide, it's more than many will be able to afford to pay. My point was that the USO might oblige NBNco to make it's service affordable for all, a better thing for all Australians don't you think ? Will engage brain and include a variety of links next time. Thankyou for your contribution.
Re: In a country
Nice, fear mongering by linking a totally biased newspaper's article (The Australian are unashamedly anti Labor), talking about the incumbent carrier that looks to lose the most by NBN. Nope, can't possibly see an issue there!