Australia - Regulatory Environment - USOs and price caps - Historical Developments - 1989-2000


Access for all is the cornerstone of the Universal Service Obligation (USO), and this report overviews how the regulated obligation came to be in the Australian market. The 1989 origins are given, and the report chronicles how the USO came to be law in 1996, underwent revisions in 1999, and how it has developed from basic telephony access across the country to include digital data services. Also noted is the overwhelming dominance of Telstra. However, by 2003 it was questioned what USOs actually are. An addition to the USO, this report introduces the national regulated price control arrangements through 1998 to April 2002. In July 2002, the Federal government proposed a new regime to win support for selling Telstra.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. How relevant are USOs?
  • 3. Ten years in the making (1989-2000)
  • 4. USOs secured under the 1996 Act
  • 5. The Optus alternative
  • 6. USO vouchers from Vodafone
  • 7. The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) Report (July 1999)
  • 8. Tendering process
  • 9. Possible new regime – network reliability framework
  • 10. Beyond the telephone
  • 11. Irrelevant and out-of-date USO policies
  • 12. Odds stacked in favour of Telstra
  • 13. Contestability guidelines
  • Table 3 – Suggested USO technologies and no of customers

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Number of pages 6

Status Archived

Last updated 24 Jul 2004
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Analyst: Paul Budde

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