The Regional Telecommunications Review (the Review) is an opportunity for people living and working in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia to share their views and experiences using telecommunications services in their area.
Every three years the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC) is appointed to conduct the Review.
The 2021 RTIRC has now released an issues paper for the Review and is seeking submissions from across Australia, with responses due by September 30 2021.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the RTIRC is undertaking a series of virtual public consultations across regional areas in the coming weeks, which include dial-in options for those who want to phone in.
Public sessions are scheduled for North West Tasmania (Thursday 29 July), Far North Queensland (Friday 30 July), West Victoria (Wednesday 4 August), South Australia (Thursday 5 August) and Central Australia (Friday 6 August). Other planned sessions are available at www.rtirc.gov.au, with more sessions soon to be posted.
The RTIRC also intends to hold in-person public consultations at a later stage of the Review, restrictions permitting.
The Review will examine and provide a report card on the adequacy of telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote Australia.
It will also consider particular issues identified in the Terms of Reference, including the impact of Government policies and programs, insights from COVID-19, emerging technologies, service reliability, regional development, and improving coordination between tiers of government.
The 2021 RTIRC was announced by the Hon Mark Coulton MP on 2 June 2021. The five members appointed to the Committee are the Hon Luke Hartsuyker (Chair), Ms Sue Middleton, Ms Kristy Sparrow, Professor Hugh Bradlow and Mr Michael Cosgrave.
The RTIRC has been asked to deliver its report to the Australian Government by 31 December 2021 or earlier. The Committee may make recommendations to the Government, on which it must respond. Committee reports are important in setting the regional communications policy agenda in the following years.