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Aussie Telcos Pushed To Offer Low-Income Deals

If a body representing telco customers is successful, Australian telecommunications companies may soon be required by law to offer products and services for those on a low income.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network released a study on the affordability of plans, products and services in Australia and found that telcos could and should do more to support low income Australians.

“This is not news to the telecommunications industry”, ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin points out.

The Addressing Telecommunications Affordability: Evaluating Support for Low Income Consumers report found 57 per cent of low-income earners experienced “some difficulty” in accessing and paying for NBN or broadband, and 59 per cent had “some difficulty” paying for a phone service with data.

The answer is simple, according to those low income earners: a discounted service, affordable hardware, and better free public Wi-Fi.

Telstra is currently required to offer such products, under the Carriage Service Provider rules, but ACCAN wants this expanded to all telcos.

“With more and more government services moving online, it is only fair that the government take steps to ensure that the people who use these services are able to get connected,” Corbin says.

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