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Australian Government Would Mandate 25Mbps Broadband Speeds to Every Premise in the Country

The Australian government has recently introduced new legislation that would need wholesale broadband providers including NBN co to offer peak broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps to each and every premise in Australia, even those within the wireless as well as satellite footprint.

The proposed Telecommunications Reform Package would be introducing new SIP or Statutory Infrastructure Provider obligations in order to provide a standard wholesale broadband service supporting high broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps download as well as 5 Mbps upload, & to support voice calls on fixed as well as wireless networks.

Under the legislation, NBN co would be the Statutory Infrastructure Provider for each premise passed as the network is rolled out. The obligation would apply across Australia once the NBN is fully rolled out.

ACCAN or The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network noted that the draft legislation published in December last year excluded the fixed wireless as well as satellite components of the network from this obligation, & welcomed the change in the final legislation.

“The legislation includes big wins for all consumers, especially for regional, rural and remote consumers,” ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin said.

“Broadband services are essential for consumers, yet currently, there is no requirement on nbn to connect and provide ongoing services to all premises. We are pleased that consumers can now be reassured that under the proposed legislation all premises must be able to access a broadband network capable of a minimum peak speed of 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload.”

However, she said that ACCAN would also be pushing to make sure that public phones will be given where they are needed as well as consumers who are dependent on satellite services have access to reliable telephony as well as broadband services.

The legislation also contains the provisions for the proposed RBS or Regional Broadband Scheme levy of $7.10 per connection in urban areas.

This levy will be used to compensate the expected A$9.8 billion in losses over thirty years that are expected to be accrued by the satellite as well as fixed wireless components of the nbn due to the shortage of customers.

While announcing the changes, Mitch Fifield, Minister of Communications, said that The Regional Broadband Scheme is already built into existing NBN prices. It is expected that once the RBS is established, NBN co would be paying 95 percent of the cost of the RBS while the other 5 percent would be paid by NBN-competing wholesale providers.

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