Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Page: 8680

Broadband

(Question No. 391)


Mr Fletcher asked the Minister representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, in writing, on 26 May 2011:

Further to the Minister's answer to question in writing No. 78 ( House Hansard, 10 May 2011, page 47), will USO Co. be responsible for the continued operation of the copper network serving all parts of Australia which are not served by the fibre to the premises network owned by NBN Co., and what are the likely costs of such operation.


Mr Albanese: The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

On 23 June 2011 the Australian Government announced that it had entered into an agreement with Telstra for the ongoing delivery of the Universal Service Obligation for voice and payphone services and other public interest services. At this time the Government also provided detail on the new arrangements through the release of a policy statement, Universal Service Policy in the National Broadband Network Environment, available at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy website.

The Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency, or TUSMA (previously referred to as USO Co), will not be directly responsible for operating or maintaining telecommunications networks.

As outlined in the Government ' s policy statement, Universal Service Policy in the National Broadband Network Environment , the TUSMA will administer the agreement with Telstra, which requires Telstra to deliver the standard telephone service universal service obligation (the STS USO). The agreement also requires Telstra to continue to operate its copper network in areas outside of NBN Co ' s fibre footprint for 20 years. Under the agreement Telstra will be paid $230 million annually (not indexed to CPI) for the delivery of the STS USO. The policy statement also notes that payments may vary if standards or requirements are changed, or if cost savings are identified.