Australia's second biggest telco, Singtel Optus, says Wednesday's announcement by the Federal Government about arrangements for the Universal Service Obligation being retained as such does not reflect "real changes in policy, market and technological realities".
The company's vice-president of Regulatory and Public Affairs, Andrew Sheridan, said in a statement: "It is deeply disappointing that after countless reviews recommending wholesale changes to the USO, the government continues with a policy that fails to deliver competition for regional consumers while subsidising Telstra with next to no transparency and accountability of how these funds are being used."
The government announcement said it would continue to use Telstra copper and wireless networks in rural and remote Australia for providing voice services in NBN fixed wireless and satellite areas.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield claimed this decision would ensure certainty for people, particularly those in remote and rural areas.
Sheridan said every year the government and Telstra's competitors contributed $150 million which allowed the dominant telco "to use their infrastructure to promote their brand across hundreds of metro and regional locations nationally and cross subsidise their services".
Optus had made an offer to divert its annual $50 million contribution to regional and rural telecommunications services, he said. These could include deploying new satellites for 100% coverage.
Sheridan said: "Optus supports the delivery of telecommunications services for all Australians and has invested billions in our mobile network to deliver competition and choice for regional and remote communities.
"Despite standard mobile voice services reaching over 99% of Australian households, there continues to be insufficient recognition of mobile networks as a legitimate provider of voice services.
"Optus calls for the immediate release of the Telstra USO Performance Agreement and the implementation of annual reporting by Telstra to provide taxpayers and industry with transparency and accountability moving forward."47 REASONS TO ATTEND YOW! 2018
With 4 keynotes + 33 talks + 10 in-depth workshops from world-class speakers, YOW! is your chance to learn more about the latest software trends, practices and technologies and interact with many of the people who created them.
Speakers this year include Anita Sengupta (Rocket Scientist and Sr. VP Engineering at Hyperloop One), Brendan Gregg (Sr. Performance Architect Netflix), Jessica Kerr (Developer, Speaker, Writer and Lead Engineer at Atomist) and Kent Beck (Author Extreme Programming, Test Driven Development).YOW! 2018 is a great place to network with the best and brightest software developers in Australia. You’ll
be amazed by the great ideas (and perhaps great talent) you’ll take back to the office!
Register now for YOW! Conference
Sydney 29-30 November
Brisbane 3-4 December
Melbourne 6-7 December
Register now for YOW! Workshops
Sydney 27-28 November
Melbourne 4-5 December
REGISTER NOW!LEARN HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF A CYBER ATTACK
Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.
As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.
It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.
In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.
Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:
How does business security get breached?
What can it cost to get it wrong?
6 actionable tips