Senate votes on Telstra USO costs

The federal senate has voted to allow Telstra to recover $252 million for providing the USO (universal service obligation) during 1997-98, an amount significantly less than Telstra's claim for $1.8 billion.

The figure is also less than the preliminary analysis of USO costs from the Australian Communications Authority (ACA), which suggested Telstra's claim of a $1.8 billion net USO cost for 1997-98 should be closer to $600 million.

The 1996-97 costs were $251.6 million.

The senate's decision to cap Telstra's net universal service cost (NUSC) at $252 million comes weeks before the Australian Communications Authority's recommendations on the USO are due to be presented to federal ministers.

The USO is a requirement that telephone services are of a "reasonable" standard for customers throughout Australia. The federal government has appointed Telstra as USO provider, but the costs of the service are shared among all the carriers.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

More about ACAAustralian Communications AuthorityTelstra Corporation

Show Comments