Trial program for remote, rural voice services

Thursday, 06 August, 2020

Trial program for remote, rural voice services

Communications companies have been invited to apply for the Alternative Voice Services Trials program, which aims to test new methods of delivering voice services in rural and remote Australia.

“Alternative voice services could be delivered using existing or new radiocommunications and satellite technologies to deliver improved service quality, greater reliability, more redundancy and greater functionality,” said the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher.

The trials will focus on rural and remote areas outside NBN Co’s fixed-line footprint, including areas serviced by Telstra’s high capacity radio concentrator (HCRC) network.

“This is an opportunity for the telecommunications industry to demonstrate what it can offer consumers and I strongly encourage service providers to come forward and apply,” added the Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, Mark Coulton.

“I look forward to chairing a stakeholder reference group, which will provide an important sounding board for matters affecting rural and remote consumers.”

The Alternative Voice Services Trials program was announced as part of the federal government’s response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review, which identified a need to address the performance and longevity of the current HCRC networks.

The government is providing $2 million in funding for the trials as part of the $220 million Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity Package.

Guidelines are available on the GrantConnect website. Applications close at 9:00 am on 14 September 2020.

Image credit: © Munro

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