Kristy Sparrow from Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR).
Kristy Sparrow from Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR). Contributed

Future of telecommunication

RURAL Australians have the chance to stand up for their rights and influence the future of communication in the bush.

Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia co-founder Kristy Sparrow says the group is hosting a survey on landline communications and what tools people use as their main voice service.

"We are working with the Government and relevant providers to ensure regional, rural and remote Australians have access to reliable, accessible and affordable voice services,” she said.

"The Government is doing a study into landline options - for many years that has been covered under the universal service obligation and that will change to a universal service guarantee.

"This USG is so vital for rural, regional and remote Australia. If they get this wrong, we have grave concerns that some could well be left in very tough and isolated situations, with potentially disastrous consequences.” Ms Sparrow said many regional, rural and remote Australians relied only on a landline and did not have internet access.

"It is imperative we have reliable landline voice services for the event of emergencies and communication,” she said.

"The other thing to remember is people that are mapped for Sky Muster satellite often don't have mobile coverage. If they don't have a landline, then they have no form of communication if their Sky Muster goes down.”

The survey is online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/BIRRRlandlines until March28.


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