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ACCAN made a submission to the Select Committee Inquiry into Australian Government's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Overall, ACCAN praised the government’s response to the pandemic, NBN Co’s COVID-19 telecommunications assistance packages, and the telecommunications industry providers who quickly developed a range of measures designed to assist recipients to meet their ongoing financial commitments.

However, ACCAN submitted that the lock-down instigated by COVID-19 has highlighted pre-existing issues of telecommunications inequality which continue to disproportionately disadvantage some communities and recommended that the Federal Government:

  • Work with State and Territory governments and telcos to ensure all households with school aged children have access to reliable internet and affordable devices.
  • Work with State and local governments in coordinating improved accessibility to public Wi-Fi outlets, and provide direct funding where needed.
  • Work with State and Territory governments to continue existing contact tracing methods in combination with the app.
  • Support NBN Co to continue the financial relief and assistance fund to help internet providers support low income customers and small businesses.
  • Support NBN Co to continue to provide an additional 40% capacity on its network free of charge to NBN retailers.
  • Support NBN Co to extend free plan upgrades and review bandwidth requirements of GP clinics.
  • Work with Health Department to roll out better education resources about the COVIDSafe app in community languages, easy English and AUSLAN.

 

Download: docxSubmission to Senate Select Committee on COVID-19732.32 KB

Download: pdfSubmission to Senate Select Committee on COVID-19221.17 KB