Over two days, on 20-21 March, as part of the Regional, Rural & Remote Communications Coalition, B4BA along with 16 other organisations from across Australia met over 50 parliamentarians from all sides of politics with the aim of highlighting the challenges and opportunities of telecommunications in the bush. During the 2 days, we called on the Government to commit to 5 actions:
- A universal service obligation (USO) that is technology neutral and provides access to both voice and data
- Customer service guarantee to deliver more accountability from providers and nbn
- Long term public funding for open access mobile network expansion in regional, rural and remote Australia (blackspots)
- Fair and equitable access to Sky Muster satellite for those with genuine need for the service, and access which reflects the residential, educational and business needs of rural and remote Australia
- Funding to build digital literacy and provide problem solving support for regional, rural and remote businesses and consumers.
‘We hear you and we want to help’ was the majority message from politicians. There were lots of positive words from politicians and we will follow up on these meetings to ensure that better communications are delivered to the bush. We will provide an update on our work with the Coalition regularly, including at our next BABA Forum in June 22-23 in Fremantle!