New reporting rules on Telstra’s delivery of voice services in rural and remote Australia

More rigorous reporting rules on Telstra to improve transparency in the delivery of voice telephone services in rural and remote areas are now in place, implementing a proposal announced by the Australian Government in October 2021.

The new rules will provide members of the public with greater transparency about Telstra's delivery of voice services under the Universal Service Obligation (USO).

The USO is a long-standing consumer protection that ensures all Australians have access to fixed telephone services regardless of where they live or work. Telstra is obligated to provide a reliable voice service on request to every premises in Australia and provide connections and repair faults within a reasonable time.

Under the new rules, Telstra will report publicly on its performance at the local exchange level against key indicators, including service availability, connection timeframes, faults and outages, repair timeframes, appointment timeframes, while providing new national complaint and customer contact handling data.

The Australian Government will also receive more detailed information, including historical data that will allow comparison over time, to support better policy making.

The new rules apply from 1 January 2022 and Telstra will provide its first quarterly report in April 2022.

More information about the rules is available on the Universal Service Obligation webpage.

The USO is now part of a wider Universal Service Guarantee for telecommunication that also include broadband.

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