Affordability and 21st century telecommunications services

Main Article Content

Katerina Pavlidis
Wayne Hawkins

Keywords

Telecommunications, affordability, low-income

Abstract

One of the central goals of ACCAN’s 2013 Affordability Roundtable was to kick-start a broader discussion around the affordability of telecommunications products and services, encouraging new and innovative social programs and industry-wide models which can be employed to alleviate the affordability divide. Research indicates that low-income consumers pay a significantly higher proportion of their income for telecommunications access than the majority of Australians, and that this affordability divide between low and higher income Australians is creating barriers to connectivity for many low-income consumers This paper is intended as a continuation of that broader discussion and builds upon the ideas first developed in the article Improving Affordability of Communications: Research and Policy Directions published in the AJTDE in 2013. This article encourages the conversation through an interrogation of the current affordability initiatives, both domestic and international, and proposes new initiatives and safety net programs that can assist low-income Australians to be digitally connected.

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