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Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation

Public inquiry

The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a 12-month inquiry into the future direction of a universal service obligation (USO) in the telecommunications market.

  • Issues paper 7 Jun 2016
  • Draft report 6 Dec 2016
  • Final report Apr 2017

The issues paper covers a range of issues on which the Commission will seek information and feedback, and is intended to assist you in preparing a submission.

Initial submissions were due by 21 July 2016.

Read the issues paper

The Commission sought further information and feedback on the draft report. Submissions were due by 20 January 2017.

Read the draft report

The final report is expected to be handed to the Australian Government in April 2017.

The release of the final report by the Government is the final step in the process.

Under the Productivity Commission Act 1998, the Government is required to table the report in each House of the Parliament within 25 sitting days of receipt.

The primary policy question to be addressed in this inquiry is to what extent, in the evolving Australian telecommunications market, Government policies may be required to support universal access to a minimum level of retail telecommunications services.

This will involve a consideration of the nature, scope and objectives of a universal service obligation, whether the retail market for relevant services will deliver appropriate outcomes for consumers without Government intervention and, if not, what options should be considered by Government to deliver universal services and the costs and benefits of these interventions.

More detailed information can be found in the terms of reference.


Tracey Horsfall (Administrative matters)
Ph: 02 6240 3261

Monika Binder (Other matters)
Ph: 02 6240 3238


Free call: 1800 020 083

Register your interest

Be kept informed about the progress of this work.

Register online

Make a submission

The Commission invites interested people and organisations to make a submission.

Make a submission


Paul Lindwall