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Residents can take part in telecommunications review

telecommunications review
An independent Regional Telecommunications Review is underway. Source: rtic.gov.au

Submissions to the Regional Telecommunications Review close in just one week, with residents in rural, regional, remote communities across Australia encouraged to have their say today.

The Review, which is held every three years, assists the Australian Government to understand telecommunications in regional Australia and develop policy and programs in response. The Committee is due to report back to government by the end of the year.

Chair of the Review Committee, the Hon Luke Hartsuyker, said final submissions to the Review are due by Thursday 30 September at 5pm AEST.

“Everyone’s feedback is vital for improving regional telecommunications – now is the time for you to be the catalyst for further improvements,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The views of individuals, families, businesses and organisations, including those in vulnerable areas, will provide important insight and help inform the final report card back to government.

“Our focus is on understanding the adequacy of broadband and mobile services for people in regional, rural, and remote areas, how they are currently being used and, crucially, what changes the Committee can recommend to government to ensure any issues raised are addressed.”

Other issues affecting consumers in the Review’s Terms of Reference include the response to COVID-19, ways of improving government coordination, the reliability of local services, and whether current policies to improve connectivity, competition, and digital literacy are effective.

Mr Hartsuyker said feedback on these topics will be vital in setting the Government’s regional telecommunications policy agenda over the coming years and that the Review is an opportunity to make a real difference for people living and working in regional Australia.

“This is your chance to share your views using telecommunications services in your area. Your input does not need to be long – what we are interested in is the issues that are important to people, as your first-hand insights to this Review will inform government action,” he said.

“Previous reviews have led to new rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program, the Regional Connectivity Program, and other initiatives. This highlights the benefit of lodging a submission.”

Interested parties can still provide a written submission by uploading a response to the consultation page at www.rtirc.gov.au (preferred), email to secretariat@rtirc.gov.au, or via post. The Issues Paper and details on how to make a submission can be found at www.rtirc.gov.au.

The Committee is the Hon Luke Hartsuyker (Chair), Ms Sue Middleton, Ms Kristy Sparrow, Professor Hugh Bradlow, and Mr Michael Cosgrave.

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