New protections guarantee broadband access for consumers

New landmark legislation came into force today that enshrines in law access for all people in Australia to broadband services regardless of where they live.

The Government's new Statutory Infrastructure Provider regime came into effect today, which means all people in Australia can access high-speed broadband, no matter where they live or work.

The regime underpins the Universal Service Guarantee, meaning there is now a legislated framework for access to broadband, as well as voice and payphones.

Under the new laws, NBN Co will have a statutory obligation to provide networks that allow end-users to receive broadband with peak download and upload speeds of at least 25/5 Megabits per second.

NBN Co must also make sure that at least 90 per cent of premises on its fixed-line network can receive peak broadband speeds of 50/10 Megabits per second.

Where NBN Co is not the default network provider—for example, where other network operators have contracts to service new developments—those other operators must meet these requirements.

The Regional Broadband Scheme, which is part of the same package of reforms, commences from 1 January 2021, and will provide transparent, sustainable and ongoing funding for rural, regional and remote broadband.

Together, these new laws guarantee access to modern telecommunications services for those living in regional, rural and remote areas, as well as those in metropolitan areas, while promoting competition.