About the review

A Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC) is established every three years by Part 9B of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 (the Act) to conduct reviews into telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia.

  1. The committee must conduct a review of the adequacy of telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia.
  2. In determining the adequacy of those services, the committee must have regard to whether people in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia have equitable access to telecommunications services that are significant to people in those parts of Australia, and currently available in one or more parts of urban Australia.
  3. In conducting the review, the committee must make provision for public consultation and consultation with people in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia.
  4. In conducting the review, the committee is to have regard to:
    1. The Government’s policy for the rollout of, and investment in, the National Broadband Network; and
    2. The Government’s commitments to a consumer safeguards review and the Universal Service Guarantee; and
    3. The Government’s policy for the rollout of, and investment in, the Mobile Black Spot Program.
  5. Taking into account Term of Reference 4, the committee is to:
    1. Consider how to maximise the economic benefits for regional communities through the use of digital technologies; and
    2. Consider how regional consumers use their broadband service and how they might derive more benefit from it; and
    3. Undertake an analysis of the coverage achieved under the Mobile Black Spot Program and examine the extent of the existing gaps in mobile coverage in regional Australia.
  6. The committee must prepare a report of the review and give it to the Minister for Regional Communications. The report may set out recommendations to the Australian Government.
  7. In formulating a recommendation that the Australian Government should take a particular action, the committee must assess the costs and benefits of that action.