Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Australian 2009 Telecommunications Reform Package

Greeting from NICTA in Canberra, where the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (ATUG) is hosting "Focus Forum on 2009 Telecommunications Reform Package". I talked on "Perspectives on the Telecommunications Reform Package" for the ACS. Holly Raiche, Executive Director of the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU) is currently speaking about the legislation.

One issue I can see coming up is the definition of a "fixed line": is a wireless service which sits in the home providing phone, Internet and, perhaps TV, a "fined line"? Holly is also asking what the Universal Service Obligation should be in a broadband environment. The draft legislation allows for the Standard Telephone Service (STS) to be a mobile (wireless) or VoIP service, as an alternative to a fixed line. This raises some safety issues as to if a sufficiently reliable service will be provided. The legislation will place obligations on the wholesale carriers to provide service, so the retailers don't just get the blame for all the problems.

The forum will also be at other cities:

This will be followed by Professor Reg Coutts, a member of the Government’s Broadband Panel of Experts with a free talk on "The National Broadband Network: New Ways of Working" at the same venue, 5:30PM.

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