Government seeks public feedback on arrangements for fixed phone service standards

The Albanese Government is encouraging the community and industry to have their say on the future of standards regulating fixed telephone services in Australia.

The discussion paper released today seeks public feedback on the over twenty-year-old Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) which provides performance standards for the connection and repair of fixed telephone services, and provides for compensation to be paid to consumers where standards are not met.

The CSG complements the Universal Service Obligation (USO), which provides reasonable access to fixed telephone services.

Since the CSG was first introduced, the telecommunications industry has changed dramatically as a result of the rise of mobile technology, changing consumer preferences, the creation of the National Broadband Network, and new market structures and industry players.

This discussion paper seeks stakeholder views on the CSG as a whole, and the various regulatory instruments that give effect to it, noting the changes to the sector.

Four instruments that support the CSG – made by the Minister for Communications and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) – are set to cease on 1 October 2023. Given its regulatory role, the ACMA will be involved in the review process.

Parties interested in sharing their views on the future form of the CSG can do so at

Submissions close on Monday, 27 March 2023.

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

“In the over twenty years since the Customer Service Guarantee was created, our world has changed significantly. We’re more connected than ever, with new technologies changing the way Australians keep in touch and receive information.

“This discussion paper is an important first step towards considering the future role and form of the CSG, and the views of stakeholders will help inform its development.

“With instruments that are part of the existing CSG ceasing in coming months, we will work collaboratively with the community and industry to ensure performance standards standards appropriately reflect changes in the market and consumer interests”.