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Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation

Issues paper

This paper was released on 7 June 2016 to assist participants in preparing a submission. It outlines a range of issues about which the Commission seeks information.

Initial submissions were due by 21 July 2016.

Opportunity for further comment was also sought on the draft report.

Download the issues paper

  • Media release

Productivity Commission seeks views on evolving Australian telecommunications market

The Productivity Commission today called on those interested in the future direction of telecommunications in Australia to contribute to its new public inquiry on the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation.

'Currently we have in place a Universal Service Obligation that means the government guarantees a minimum level of fixed line voice telephone services and pay phones across Australia,' said Commissioner Paul Lindwall.

'Our inquiry is looking at whether government intervention is still needed to support universal access to a minimum level of telecommunications services, given market, technological and policy developments over the past decade, not least of which is the widespread use of mobile phones and the rollout of the NBN' he said.

The Productivity Commission released today an issues paper to help people prepare their submissions or provide brief comments through the website. The deadline for submissions is 21 July 2016.

'We expect we will hear from our major telecommunications providers on this issue but we are also interested in hearing from individuals, local government and anyone who has a view on the current Universal Service Obligation and future directions for change,' said Commissioner Paul Lindwall.

Information on how to make a submission, which can be a short comment submitted online, can be found at

Background information

Jane Melanie (Assistant Commissioner) 02 6240 3380

Leonora Nicol (Media, Publications and Web) 02 6240 3239 / 0417 665 443