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Response to Draft Report of its Inquiry into the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation

The NFF firmly believes that connectivity represents the next frontier for agricultural productivity in Australia. Farmers need access to reliable, affordable and adequate data and voice services to grow their businesses and to remain innovative. Key to this is the Universal Service Obligation (USO) agreement that enables Australians, wherever they work and live, to have a guaranteed minimum access to data and voice services.

The NFF supports the Productivity Commission’s (PC) conclusion that the current arrangement for USO in need of reform and should be amended to include a baseline broadband service. While the PC assumes that new technologies such as the NBN will fulfil the USO requirements in the future, the NFF is of the strong view that the USO should remain technology neutral.

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