BIRRR Landline and Connectivity Survey 2018 Report

Hay, Rachel (2018) BIRRR Landline and Connectivity Survey 2018 Report. Report. James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Better Internet for Rural Regional and Remote Australians (BIRRR) began as a Facebook group (administered by volunteers) in 2014 with the aim of providing information and support for telecommunications services to people living and working in rural, remote and regional areas.

The BIRRR Landline & Connectivity Survey 2018 aimed to establish the type and state of voice communication services in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia, by collecting information about user experience and technology types.

The data will be used to work with the Government, telecommunication stakeholders and other relevant advocacy groups to improve and maintain voices services in rural, regional and remote(RRR) areas.

Due to the nature of their geography RRR consumers are extremely reliant on reliable voice communication services. This also heightens the need for Government policy such as the Universal Service Obligation to protect essential voice services. A landline voice service is imperative for safety and connectivity, especially in areas where there is no mobile coverage and unreliable broadband services.

The survey found that rural, regional and remote people primarily use a traditional landline for their main voice communication. Furthermore, these traditional landlines are essential tools for communicating in regional areas, as almost half of the respondents have no mobile coverage in their residence.

The survey results highlighted that respondents often have issues with fault rectification and getting problems resolved in regard to their voice services. Over 40% of respondents reported that their main voice service stops working more than three times per year. Highlighted in the survey are thousands of comments stating why placing all communication services in one basket such as nbnTM Sky Muster could lead to disastrous consequences for regional Australians.

The Government must not consider rural, regional and remote (RRR) mobile connectivity as a replacement for a Universal Service Obligation (USO) landline, until this connectivity at least meets the same service guarantees as existing arrangements.

The new Universal Service Guarantee (USG) should continue to ensure that ALL Australian consumers and businesses have baseline voice services that are at least equivalent to the standard offered under the existing USO.

Standard telephone services must be maintained until such a time that baseline service needs are exceeded using alternate Broadband technology. All existing landline options must be covered under the USG (even those that are currently not included). There should be no degradation in the current voice service that users receive. The USO should be technology neutral and updatable to ensure ongoing needs are met. Every Australian, irrespective of where they live or work, should be confident they can access quality, reliable, accessible & affordable voice and broadband services with customer support guarantees. Serious commitment is needed to ensure that RRR areas are not disadvantaged due to their population and postcode.

Item ID: 59025
Item Type: Report (Report)
ISBN: 978-0-9954471-8-9
Keywords: fix bush internet, Better Internet for Rural Regional Remote Australia, women in technology, skymuster
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Copyright Information: This report is published under a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2019 22:48
FoR Codes: 10 TECHNOLOGY > 1005 Communications Technologies > 100502 Broadband and Modem Technology @ 20%
10 TECHNOLOGY > 1005 Communications Technologies > 100599 Communications Technologies not elsewhere classified @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160505 Economic Development Policy @ 40%
SEO Codes: 89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8901 Communication Networks and Services > 890103 Mobile Data Networks and Services @ 40%
89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8901 Communication Networks and Services > 890199 Communication Networks and Services not elsewhere classified @ 40%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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