Vodafone welcomes government action on USO reform

Statement from VHA Chief Strategy Officer Dan Lloyd

We congratulate the Federal Government for finally handing a death sentence to the outdated and anti-competitive USO.

It is encouraging that steps are being taken to move towards a fair universal service model to deliver the telecommunications services regional Australia wants, needs and deserves.

We are keen to work with the government on competitive options to provide reliable voice services throughout the NBN satellite footprint.

However, every day that the current USO continues is a day that regional Australia misses out. We will be working with government to identify options for action before 2020.

We are very concerned that Telstra will continue to receive nearly $1 million per day for another three years. Government figures show that Telstra has already shut down around half of the copper and payphone services it is supposed to maintain under the USO.

Based on those figures, that’s effectively close to half a billion dollars in taxpayer and industry funding Telstra should be paying back.

<ends>