LABOR WELCOMES RTIRC REPORT

Labor welcomes the report of the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC) that has been tabled today.

The RTIRC confirms that the decision to invest in a National Broadband Network was the right decision by the Australian Government.

The NBN project is delivering significant improvements in regional communications.

However, it is clear that the implementation of the NBN project under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has fallen short of community expectations.

As a result, the report signals that beyond the initial rollout of the NBN, more work will need to be done to ensure that regional telecommunications is fit for purpose and keeps up with the demands of technological advances and consumer expectations.

There is a strong overlap with the issues raised in the recent Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network around congestion in the fixed wireless network and limitations on the Sky Muster satellite NBN service.

Labor also welcomes recommendations about taking a stronger “place-based” approach to regional upgrades – something that we have been advocating for some time.

Labor welcomes the recommendations on Indigenous Digital Inclusion.

At the moment, the poorest people in Australia are paying the most for their data and phone services.

This is an issue of social equity and economic participation that should be addressed as a priority.

It is also clear that addressing the digital divide and improving digital literacy require a greater focus.

Labor will work through the recommendations and consult with stakeholders on the RTIRC report.