Farmer utilising regional telecommunications infrastructure

No matter where we live in Australia, communications services should be available to keep us connected. While the completion of the NBN build means a broadband infrastructure upgrade for most Australians, there remain many that are underserved. Some are still waiting for NBN to become available, others are awaiting upgrades, and in many remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities last mile infrastructure is badly needed. Mobile network coverage issues persist in regional, rural and remote areas, as well as in transport corridors and high-risk emergency areas. Technology used to deliver fixed voice services in remote and rural areas is aging and unreliable, and many premises are still connected to ADSL outside NBN’s fixed footprint with no adequate plan for service transition if ADSL is withdrawn. Although 5G networks are rolling out, consumers are concerned about the impact the withdrawal of 3G may have on access to their services. Consumers are also concerned about the impact that spectrum changes will have on their use of technology, including telecommunications services and television delivery platforms.


To ensure better communications infrastructure across Australia, ACCAN will advocate for place-based solutions to better match infrastructure to the needs of consumers, whether over NBN, smaller fixed line networks, local fixed wireless, mobile, or last mile connectivity. We will engage with Federal, state and territory governments in their delivery of ongoing funding for infrastructure improvement programs. We will work with industry to ensure co-funded programs meet consumer needs. We will focus on future service delivery arrangements that support the best outcomes for regional and remote consumers, small businesses, and poorly served remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We will keep track of 5G rollouts and monitor plans to withdraw 3G, advocating for full transparency about the costs, limitations and implications of these network changes. We will ensure that consumer interests are considered in spectrum reforms, including those with implications on broadcasting and Wi-Fi services. These focus areas will help ACCAN ensure that communications infrastructure across Australia meets the needs of consumers.