Universal Service Guarantee for telecommunications

The new Universal Service Guarantee (USG) updates the long standing Universal Service Obligation (USO), by providing all Australian homes and businesses with access to both broadband and voice services, regardless of their location.

The USG will use the National Broadband Network (NBN) to deliver broadband services and will continue to use Telstra's existing copper and wireless networks in rural and remote Australia for the provision of voice services in nbn fixed wireless and satellite areas.

With ongoing use of Telstra's copper and wireless networks in rural and remote areas, a key priority will be getting the most out of the existing contract with Telstra on performance and reliability. The Government has also been consulting on new arrangements to improve the reliability of services generally in Part B of its Consumer Safeguards Review.

While USG will retain payphone services, there will be careful examination of payphone locations, as the uptake of mobile services has grown.

Better ways to deliver these critical services may emerge with the rapid evolution of the telecommunications market place. The Government will continue to work with consumers and industry to look for ways to improve the USG over time.

In addition to the USG, consumers also have the option of using Australia's world class mobile services, with coverage rapidly expanding under the Government's $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program. To date, over 600 mobile base stations have been switched on under the program, and the rollout of the NBN network is nearly complete, outside of major urban areas.

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