A report has given the thumbs-up to initiatives aimed at assisting low-income telecommunications consumers around Australia.
The report released by Senator Helen Coonan, the minister for communications, IT and the arts, has found that initiatives to assist low-income telecommunications consumers are working.
"The package of support put in place by Telstra has made sure low-income consumers continue to stay in touch with friends, family, potential employers and the community," Coonan said in a statement.
The findings are part of the second annual report of the Low-Income Measures Assessment Committee (LIMAC), which reports on the effectiveness of Telstra's 'Access for Everyone' low-income services package.
The independent committee comprised representatives of welfare agencies. It was setup by Telstra as a part of price control agreements imposed by the Government.
"As an independent committee set up to advise Telstra on services to low-income customers, LIMAC plays a significant and vital role in ensuring that low-income consumers are able to enjoy services that meet their telecommunications needs," Coonan said.
The Access for Everyone package provides discounts to pensioners and offers bill relief to people who are struggling financially. It also provides a message service for people living on the streets and in shelters.
"I am pleased LIMAC considers that the Access for Everyone package, through providing a range of targeted products and services to meet varying customer circumstances, is meeting these objectives," Coonan said.
The Government changed Telstra's carrier licence conditions in June 2002 to require it to have a package of products available for low-income consumers.