Farmers welcome practical telecommunications review

NSW Farmers has welcomed the release of the Regional Telecommunications Review 2015 which makes innovative and practical recommendations that could benefit farmers and rural communities.

NSW Farmers telecommunications spokesman and Girilambone farmer Anthony Gibson said: “Access to quality, affordable telecommunications is a top priority for farmers across NSW.”

Many NSW Farmers members have experienced extreme frustrations due to ‘shaping’ or limiting of their internet access on the current satellite service.

Mr Gibson said the review’s recommendation to extend the NBN’s fixed wireless network will be essential if farmers are to overcome issues associated with limits to speed or data allowance on a satellite service.

The review also recommended significant changes to the current Universal Service Obligation, arguing that it should be extended to cover ‘voice and data’ and that a permanent fund should be established to cover ‘necessary loss-making’ regional telecommunications infrastructure.

Mr Gibson said: “The growing dependence of rural Australians on reliable, fast internet for communication and business makes a strong case modernising the Universal Service Obligation.

“We commend the review chair Deena Shiff and the committee for their excellent and comprehensive review.

“Our members await the government’s response and in the meantime will continue to pursue improved telecommunications across regional NSW,” Mr Gibson concluded.

The review, which is conducted every three years, had a mandate to examine the adequacy of telecommunication services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia.
It recognised the failures of the current interim satellite service and the inherent limits of any future satellite solution.

ends

29 October 2015

Contact: Charlie Cull

Phone: 1300 794 000

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