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Movement to Enhance Telco Service Quality Welcome

13 September 2006

THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) today welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that it will strengthen the Telecommunications Network Reliability Framework (NRF) – essential for ensuring quality reliable services in regional Australia.

“The NRF is designed to reduce the number of faults in the Telstra network, with particular focus now on smaller exchange areas,” NFF President David Crombie said. “There is a new requirement for Telstra to automatically fix at least 480 cable bundles each year and to minimise the number of faults and the time to repair them.”

A recommendation of the 2002 Regional Telecommunications Inquiry resulted in the Government agreeing to update the NRF as necessary. These latest improvements are in the form of an amended Telstra NRF Licence Condition that tightens the quality of telecommunications services now and into the future.

“Access to quality, reliable and affordable telecommunications is essential to maintaining any business, particularly those areas across regional Australia,” Mr Crombie said.

“Farmers continue to contribute around 20% of Australia’s exports, generate 12% of GDP, and support 1.6 million Australian jobs.

“Communications is vital for the business and social fabric of rural Australia and NFF has sought, and expects, the Government to deliver on its guarantees to meet minimum service quality standards.

“NFF is looking to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to diligently monitor the NRF to maximise service quality now, not just for telephony, but also the increasing number of broadband services in regional Australia.

“NFF also encourages service providers to meet the increasing service and quality requirements of their customer’s, thereby negating any additional regulatory focus.

“NFF acknowledges the significant improvements in rural telecommunications, but will continue to lobby Government for timely outcomes under the Government’s telecommunications ‘future proofing’ initiatives.”

An announcement of a further review of the NRF within 12 months to ensure that it is meeting the objective of reducing faults and improving the reliability of Telstra’s network would be welcomed by NFF.

Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan, NFF Public Affairs, (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250 email:

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