Gordon, John - Public Submission RTIRC 2015
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Regional Telecommunications Review - Short Online Submissions
Full name: John Gordon Date received: 14 July 2015 Chapter 1: How does demand for telecommunications services inform the Review? Please comment on how your reliance on telecommunications in regional Australia differs from urban areas.
The reliance on telecommunications in regional Australia is completely different to urban area. In regional Australia, you can't walk to another suburb and pick up where you left off, the distances are too great, even in relatively large communities, it is often measured in weeks before a service is re-connected because there are no contractors nearby, but hundreds of kilometers away. This 'tyranny of distance' does not apply in urban environments.
Chapter 2: How are telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote Australia delivered? Please comment on the delivery of services for example over fixed networks, mobile networks or satellite.
These services are often delivered in a piece-meal fashion by Private sector companies because it is expensive and they are loathe to put infrastructure in place to regularly maintain the equipment, but only send some-one to the area when (not if) it breaks down. Fixed networks only work well if you are lucky enough to be near an exchange that has sufficient capacity to handle the requirements. Some housing developments have only got a certain number of internet connection lines, not enough to supply everyone in the estate, and the Telcos will not upgrade equipment to add more connections! Mobile networks are problematic, with patchy coverage just for calls, and sometimes no service for most of the Telcos. Satellite may solve the download side, but it is severely limited by the requirement to have line of sight, reduced bandwidth and high latency.
Chapter 3: How are services being used in regional, rural and remote Australia? Please comment on how telecommunication services are being used for example, interacting with government, education, health or running a business.
As the current Government is forcing everyone to accessing the services by internet, whether the person is computer literate or not, the use of telecommunication services in regional and rural areas is increasing dramatically, but the infrastructure is not there to meet the demand - back to point 1 - profitability.
Chapter 4: Consumer safeguards Please provide your views on current consumer safeguards and what should be considered in the future.
Better consumer safeguards are required, problems experienced by the consumer appear to be routinely ignored, or responded to with technical jargon unintelligible to most users. Dispute resolution by the provider is also sadly lacking, with most people giving up and putting up with a service drastically different than the advertised service.
Other comments Please provide any other comments.
Government needs to put the required infrastructure into place and own that infrastructure, then it can set the access price for all private sector Telco's to access that network - level playing field. The absurd idea that a Government HAS to make a profit above all else is ridiculous, Private sector partnerships for infrastructure don't work because the private sector want a profit immediately, not 10 or 20 years in the future. Service Industries, including Governments, need to get back to the the basics - they are there to provide a service, not gouge profit for the sake of profit.