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June 16, 2016

B4B Key Policy Objectives 2016

Following the successful conclusion of the 2-day Broadband for the Bush Forum V: digital journeys, the Broadband for the Bush Alliance have finalised a list of Key Policy Objectives that draw on the focused discussions from the final day of the forum.

This statement of policy objectives is both the culmination of the work of the B4B Alliance and its members and a dynamic basis for ongoing advocacy and engagement.


Broadband for the Bush Alliance | Key policy objectives

Availability:

  • Urge Australian Government to grant an allocation of 700MHZ digital dividend spectrum for remote Australia
  • Advocate for expanded penetration of nbn fibre and wireless backhaul into remote and regional Australia to reduce Skymuster congestion
  • Call for nbn satellite (or other satellite) to provide mobile backhaul
  • Achieve bipartisan support for continuation of mobile black spot program, not restricted by economic viability or technology
  • Research and investigate long-range mobile coverage solutions and alternative solutions offered by new technologies
  • Advocate for telecommunications as a key component of the Northern Australia Development policy
  • Call to incorporate the increase of fibre network in Northern Australia due to extreme climatic events within the Developing the North agenda

Affordability:

  • Ensure nbn remains a publicly owned utility
  • Seek universal unmetered online access to health, government services, education services and banking for remote residents and NGOs to address tyranny of distance (conceptually similar to extended zones charging, i.e. not unlimited)
  • Urge development of an affordability strategy to target measures for remote and Indigenous communities – to be included as a Closing the Gap indicator for Indigenous communities.
  • Advocate for standards and a coordinated approach to Wi-Fi in remote communities – building on public phones & PIP model (joint government WiFi strategy) and use of mobile VoIP service via WiFi

Service standards and guarantees:

  • Advocate for establishment of an independent remote and rural telecommunications advisory body
  • Advocate for remote-targeted customer service and helpdesk support
  • Develop an on-line consumer guide for nbn satellite products
  • Contribute to USO Review to include mobile, data and pre-paid
  • Contribute to reforming the CSG to include data services and reliability measures, as per RTIRC recs
  • Urge for regularly updated data collection of remote infrastructure and access for public availability
  • Negotiate higher peak period data limits for Sky Muster

 Digital Literacy and Empowerment:

  • Establishment of a single advocacy body for Digital Literacy
  • Advocate for remote-focussed Digital Literacy programs (co-designed and appropriate)
  • Design and promote Digital Mentors/Champions programs

 

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