Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

New Universal Service Guarantee being developed in Australia to ensure access to voice and broadband services for all citizens

New Universal Service Guarantee being developed in Australia to ensure access to voice and broadband services for all citizens

The Australian Government has announced
a programme of work to implement a new Universal Service Guarantee (USG), which
will ensure all Australians have access to voice and broadband services,
regardless of where they live. This will be delivered on a commercial basis by
the market in the first instance, and where this cannot be achieved, options
will be developed for targeted Government measures.

The USG will be developed following
the Productivity Commission inquiry into
the Universal Service Obligation (USO).
The USO was introduced in the 1990s to ensure ‘reasonable access’ to a
standard telephone service and payphones for all Australians on an ‘equitable’
basis, regardless of where people reside or work. But the widespread
availability and usage of mobile and broadband services has changed the
scenario. The government is also rolling out the AU$49 billion National
Broadband Network (NBN)
to enable the provision of wholesale broadband services (with voice capability)
to all premises (on request) within Australia.

The review was conducted in view of these developments to
evaluate the utility of the USO and check if the significant taxpayer
investment in TUSO is achieving value for money. It found that the USO is
'anachronistic and costly' and should be 'replaced by a new framework to
reflect changing policy, market and technological realities'. The report said
that the NBN and mobile networks will likely meet most requirements. Flexible,
transparent approaches should be used to address remaining gaps.

The plans for the USG are a response to the report from the
Productivity Commission (the Government’s response to the PC report can be
accessed here).

As part of the development of the new USG, the Government is
committed to voice telephony services via the existing Universal Service
Obligation (USO) contract with Telstra until this is replaced with a USG
following the completion of the National Broadband Network rollout in 2020.

The Government will develop options to implement a USG which
ensures all Australian premises have access to retail voice and broadband
services delivered on a commercial basis, underpinned by the Statutory
Infrastructure Provider (SIP) framework
currently before Parliament.  

The new SIP obligations make NBN Co the default
‘infrastructure provider of last resort’. There will be a requirement on NBN Co
to connect premises and supply wholesale broadband services on reasonable
request. NBN Co will become the SIP for areas as it rolls out its network and
it will be the default SIP for all of Australia after the NBN is declared built
and fully operational. Other network providers can also be SIPs where
appropriate, for example where they have contracts to service premises in a new
real estate development.

Where necessary, options will be developed for targeted
Government measures, for example, to deliver alternative voice services to
premises in the NBN satellite footprint which don’t have mobile coverage.

The Government has also commenced work on cost and delivery
options to provide for a future Universal Service Guarantee, and will consider
the future allocation of the AU$100 million in annual funding it currently pays
into the existing USO contract as part of any change to existing USO

In developing options for implementing a future Universal
Service Guarantee, the Government will examine the feasibility and cost
implications of issues such as alternative means of providing voice services to
premises in NBN Co’s satellite footprint, recognising that NBN Co’s satellites
are designed for broadband not voice services and the potential impact on NBN
Co’s costs and network design as premises currently served by Telstra under the
USO migrate to NBN infrastructure.

Before any changes are made to the existing USO, the USG
will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. broadband services are available to 100 per cent of
    Australian premises, on request, at the completion of the NBN rollout in 2020
  2. voice services are available to 100 per cent of Australian
    premises on request
  3. any proposed new service delivery arrangements are more cost
    effective than the existing USO contract (including any transitional costs)
  4. a new consumer safeguards framework is in place following a
    review and associated public consultation process.

Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield said, “The
Government is taking a ‘belt and braces’ approach to protecting
telecommunications accessibility for people in regional Australia. The Government
is putting new, stronger safeguards in place before making any changes to
existing safeguards while the NBN is rolled out.”


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit