ATUG blows kisses at Estens

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The Australian Telecommunication Users Group (ATUG) has praised the Estens report into telecommunications services in regional Australia, describing its broadband prescription as "independent and insightful".

"In regard to "future-proofing" the inquiry reported that the submissions received on Internet speed demonstrate a greatly increased awareness in regional, rural and remote Australia of the value of higher bandwidth Internet services and a rapidly growing, real level of demand for these services," ATUG said in a statement.

ATUG's response to the report also goes through Estens' recommendations on mobile, satellite, and Telstra's terrestrial network.

"At the centre of these, from ATUG's point of view, is a pro-active, transparent and information based approach for the regulators. Performance against clearly specified regulated obligations, including new licence conditions, will be measured and publicly reported"

The organisation notes the report's recommendation on guaranteed dial-up Internet speeds, "although ATUG stresses 19.2kbps must be seen at the start point NOT the end point".

The report said the recommendation to compel the Federal Government to respond to

future reviews and justify any responses that vary from review recommendations is "a good approach to the Government's response to Estens".

ATUG said its submissions to the enquiry covered not only network maintenance issues in the bush, but also network performance relative to the city. It also made submission on the comparative performance of mobile and narrowband internet services and how service equity would be maintained as technology changes.

"The recommendations in the Estens Report go squarely to these issues," ATUG said.

"The Estens Committee has done a good job of reviewing its broad brief," the group concluded.

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