Consultation on draft Alternative Voice Services Trials Guidelines

We are seeking your views on the draft Alternative Voice Services Trials Guidelines.

Why we want your input

Stakeholder feedback will help us ensure the draft guidelines can deliver meaningful trials.

How you can voice your opinion

You can provide comments to this public consultation process by Tuesday, 2 June 2020.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Your comments will help finalise the guidelines for the Alternative Voice Services Trials.

The Issue

We are seeking your views on the draft Alternative Voice Services Trials (AVST) guidelines.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the Department) is proposing to contract organisations to trial alternative ways to deliver voice services in rural and remote areas of Australia, and particularly those areas serviced by Telstra's high capacity radio concentrator (HCRC) networks.

The objective of the trials is to identify new ways to deliver voice services, including by new providers, and assess their effectiveness, given concerns about existing voice solutions and the potential for alternative technologies to provide better services and functionality.

The trials were announced as part of the Government's response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review and reflect particular concerns about the performance and longevity of HCRC networks.

The trials are also relevant to the Government's commitment to explore with industry and the community better ways to deliver the Universal Service Guarantee (USG) for telecommunications over time.  The trials should provide insights into better ways to deliver the USG.

The Department is interested in maximising competition under the program and to trial a range of alternative voice technologies and providers.

On 20 December 2019, Minister Fletcher issued a draft design for the trials. These guidelines take account of the comments that were received in submissions on the draft design.

Our objective is to issue final guidelines on 13 June 2020 and receive applications for funding in August 2020.

Interested parties are encouraged to have their say on the draft guidelines by Tuesday 2 June 2020, 5pm (AEST). The Government will consider feedback on the draft guidelines with the aim of issuing the final guidelines and further details about program timing as soon as possible.


Relevant Documentation

Alternative voice services trials—grant opportunity guidelines—draft

Published 14th May 2020

Download PDF (601.8 KB) Download DOC (179.54 KB)

These Grant Opportunity Guidelines (guidelines) contain information for the Alternative Voice Services Trials (trials) Program (program). You must read these guidelines before filling out an application.

Alternative Voice Services Trials—Standard Grant Agreement

Published 14th May 2020

Download PDF (776.15 KB) Download DOC (170.9 KB)

Once completed, this document, together with each set of Grant Details and the Commonwealth Standard Grant Conditions (Schedule 1), forms an Agreement between the Commonwealth and the Grantee.

Alternative Voice Services Trials application form—draft

Published 14th May 2020

Download PDF (452.69 KB) Download DOC (151.71 KB)

This form must be attached to your application.


The final Grant Guidelines for the Alternative Voice Services Trials were published the GrantConnect website on 4 August 2020.

Submissions received for publication are here:

  • Telstra
  • Pivotel
  • NSW Farmers

In addition to the Grant Connect website, more information about the Trials can be found on the Alternative Voice Services Trials Program page.


15 May 2020 09:00 AEST
02 Jun 2020 17:00 AEST
This consultation is closed.