In December 2016 the Department of Communications and Arts consulted on three legislative reforms;
• to clarify the rules around broadband networks,
• to ensure everyone has access to a broadband network through the Statutory Infrastructure Provider, and
• to establish funding of regional broadband services.
ACCAN generally supports the reform package. Consumers cannot choose the network that they are connected to, so the rules governing how the networks should operate need be clear and consistent. Furthermore, legislation to ensure that everyone can access a broadband network is also positive and welcome, as currently there is no guarantee that everyone will be connected. However, we believe the Staututory Infrastructure Provider legislation should go further to ensure a high quality network is available to all premises. Finally, the proposed Regional Broadband Scheme offers a sustainable and transparent funding mechanism for network service provision in unprofitable areas which ACCAN supports.