Improving affordability of communications Research and policy directions

Main Article Content

Katerina Pavlidis

Keywords

ACCAN, policy, affordability, communications

Abstract

In March 2013 the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), Australia’s peak advocacy body for telecommunications consumers, organised a forum to discuss communications affordability with the aim of identifying research gaps and potential policy directions. The results of a joint ACCAN-Anglicare Victoria research project show that telecommunications are not universally accessible. Almost 6% of their clients were deprived of all forms of telecommunications and almost half (45.3%) had only had one form of telecommunication. It is argued that the National Broadband Network alone will not resolve affordability challenges for the lowest-income consumers. A range of affordability policy ideas outlined at the forum are canvassed with an emphasis on reforming the universal service obligation and developing new government initiatives.

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References

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