Universal access to broadband services

Statutory Infrastructure Providers

The Government is committed to ensuring people in Australia have access to reliable high-speed broadband, regardless of where they live.

The Statutory Infrastructure Provider (SIP) obligations ensure that all Australian premises can access superfast broadband services (25 Megabits per second (Mbps) or better). The SIP arrangements commenced on 1 July 2020. NBN Co is the default SIP for all of Australia, but other network providers can also be SIPs where appropriate. For example, where they have contracts to service premises in a new real estate development.

SIPs are required to connect premises to their networks in their service areas on reasonable request by a retail provider. While SIPs are able to offer a range of products, they are required to offer wholesale services that allows retail providers to supply consumers broadband with peak speeds of at least 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload. On fixed-line and fixed wireless networks, SIPs' standard services are also required to support voice services for consumers.

The Minister for Communications is able to make standards, rules and benchmarks that could set out more detailed requirements, such as timeframes for providing access and rectifying faults. SIPs would be required to comply with these.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the SIP arrangements. It also maintains a public register of SIP areas and SIPs.

Universal Service Guarantee (USG)

In 2018, the Universal Service Guarantee (USG) updated 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 uses the National Broadband Network (NBN) to deliver broadband services.

Universal access to voice services

There are also arrangements that provide people in Australia with access to fixed voice services and payphones. More information is available at: Universal Service Obligation (voice services).

Modernising universal telecommunications services

The Australian Government is examining universal telecommunications service arrangements for voice and broadband in light of changes in available technologies and consumer preferences over recent years.
More information is available at: Modernising universal telecommunications services.