The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) is proposing to monitor and report on provision of telecommunications services to remote indigenous communities.
In the discussion paper, released by ACA acting chairman Bob Horton, the ACA is now asking for comments from indigenous communities, industry, representative bodies and interested parties about the proposal.
"We aim to have a comprehensive picture of the telecommunications services available in remote Indigenous communities," Horton said. "We also want to see how the performance of standard telephone services in these communities measures up against those in other communities."
Horton said the approach in the discussion paper "Monitoring and Reporting on Telecommunications Services for Remote Indigenous Communities" was developed in response to the Regional Telecommunications Inquiry.
The ACA found that there is a lack of accessible and reliable statistical information on telecommunications services provided to remote indigenous communities. Horton said the inquiry recommended a "more effective data collection and monitoring of telecommunications needs and services in these communities with the ACA leading the way."
"The development of a remote indigenous community monitoring and reporting capability will help to fill the information gap that currently exists," Horton said.
He added that "It will also allow for analysis of changes in the range and availability of telecommunications services, and help inform policy makers and future reviews about service adequacy in remote indigenous communities."