Future connectivity opportunities central to inaugural LEOSat report

Boosting digital inclusion, universal services and improving telecommunications resilience are among a number of priority reform areas identified by the Albanese Government’s Low Earth Orbit Satellite (LEOSat) Working Group’s Inaugural Chair’s Report released today.
Established in February 2023, the Working Group brings together industry, regulators and the Government’s First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group to guide future reforms to leverage the benefits of LEOSats in Australia.
The Chair’s Report makes six recommendations, including that the Government: 

  • Explore the role of LEOSats to narrow the First Nations digital gap, and identify how best to remove barriers to providing prepaid satellite services to consumers;
  • Consider how new and emerging technology may be able to deliver a modern Universal Service Obligation;
  • Monitor developments with direct to handset LEOSat services, and consider their role in the continuity of service during disasters.

The Report notes the potential for accelerated business and economic benefits that may flow from greater use of LEOSats, including in facilitating the Internet of Things (IoT) in rural, regional and remote communities.
The Government will consider these recommendations as it seeks to embrace the opportunities presented by LEOSats technology in coming years.
Significant work is also underway including considering the suitability of Australia’s regulatory framework, enhancement of capability to support Triple Zero emergency services, and Australia’s future universal service arrangements to support this technology.
To view the full report, and for the full list of recommendations, visit https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/department/media/publications/low-earth-orbit-satellite-working-group-2023-chairs-report

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP: 

“The Albanese Government is committed to leveraging the latest technology to keep Australians connected.

“I welcome the Working Group’s delivery of this report, which has identified six key areas of reform to guide future telecommunications priorities and regulatory reform. 

“I thank the Working Group for the constructive manner in which they approached these important discussions – particularly in relation to closing the First Nations digital inclusion gap”.

“The Government will continue to work with industry and consumer groups to ensure the regulatory framework  delivers the best outcomes for Australians, and I look forward to future meetings with the Working Group this year.”