Supergroup formed to fight data drought

Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition launches

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The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition will push hard for a more inclusive universal service obligation and an extended customer service guarantee for customers and businesses outside major cities.

The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition will push hard for a more inclusive universal service obligation and an extended customer service guarantee for customers and businesses outside major cities.

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A staunch group of advocates for the bush has formed to champion better communications services for consumers and small businesses living in rural, remote or regional areas.

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A GROUP of dedicated champions for the bush have formed a supergroup to break the data drought experienced by Aussies living in the bush.

Today the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition was launched. It’s members are the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), the National Farmers’ Federation, the Country Women’s Association of NSW, the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association and AgForce Queensland. 

“The Coalition was formed to highlight the collective concerns of families, businesses and communities in rural and regional Australia about the lack of equitable access to reliable and quality telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote Australia,” ACCAN chief executive Teresa Corbin said. 

“2017 must be the year of delivering real improvements to digital connectivity in the bush.”

The Coalition has developed five fundamental outcomes as measures of equitable connectivity for regional and remote consumers.

Ms Corbin said the outcomes are ambitious and achievable, and they reflect the pressing need for change.

The five outcomes are:

  • A universal service obligation that is technology neutral and provides access to both voice and data;
  • Customer service guarantees and reliability measures to underpin the provision of voice and data services and deliver more accountability from providers and nbn; 
  • Long term public funding for open access mobile network expansion in rural and regional Australia;
  • Fair and equitable access to Sky Muster satellite services for those with a genuine need for the service, and access which reflects the residential, educational and business needs of rural and regional Australia; and 
  • Fully resourced capacity building programs that build digital ability, and provide learning and effective problem solving support for regional, rural and remote businesses and consumers.
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