Commonwealth Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy: Universal Service Obligation

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Many competition and regulatory issues will arise from the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN). The Universal Service Obligation (USO) has been a key aspect of telecommunications regulation for many years and is a regime intended to ensure that standard telephone services are made available to all Australians on an equitable basis.

The move towards NBN, which will provide the infrastructure that will allow wholesale and retail service providers to deliver advanced digital services to the nation, has necessitated a strategic review of how the USO is to be delivered and the agreements with Telstra.

Corrs is the primary adviser to Commonwealth Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) on the agreements between Telstra and the Commonwealth on the future provision of universal service in a post-NBN world and on the design of the new regulatory regime.

Corrs is working with the DBCDE to prepare and negotiate the USO arrangements with Telstra. The agreement which is valued at approximately $2 billion is an integral part of the suite of agreements between Telstra, NBN Co and the Commonwealth.