The Universal Service Obligation (USO) is a consumer protection put in place by the Australian Government. It means that you have the right to a standard fixed landline phone service provided by Telstra, regardless of where you live or work in Australia.

If you’re connected to the nbn via satellite or Fixed Wireless services, you will not be disconnected from your existing landline.

What is Telstra responsible for?

Telstra must provide standard telephone services (STS) on request to every premises in Australia within reasonable timeframes. The Australian Government meets its legislation obligation to provide the USO by contracting Telstra to be its Universal Service Provider.

They must provide a reliable telephone service that has good voice reception, and must ensure that connections and faults associated with the service are undertaken and repaired within a reasonable time.

Telstra delivers its services using a mix of technologies, including copper, fibre, point-to-point radio (e.g. a high capacity radio concentrator system, or HCRC), NGWL (NextG Wireless Link) and satellite infrastructure (Telstra’s USO Sat service). Telstra’s obligation is technology-neutral; this means they will choose the technology to deliver your service.

Telstra is required to continue delivering these services if your broadband connection is provided by nbn™   Sky Muster™  satellite or nbn™ Fixed Wireless connections, even if those connections support and deliver Voice over IP (VoIP) voice services.

If you are connected to an nbn™ Sky Muster™  satellite or nbn™ Fixed Wireless service, we strongly recommend keeping your landline connection, as it may be the only service that will continue working in an emergency situation.

antenna under water in floods

HCRC in North Western QLD during the devastating 2019 Floods. Image credit: BIRRR

Read about the features included in a Telstra standard telephone service.

Ordering a standard telephone service

Orders can be placed at your local Telstra store, by calling 13 22 00, or visiting Telstra online.

Telstra national pricing ensures that customers in remote areas pay the same price for an STS as customers in cities.

For more details on appointment, connection and repair times, visit the customer guarantee section of the Telstra website.

If you have any issues in ordering a landline phone service, please contact us.

How long will it take?

Service location In-place connection New service connections
Close to infrastructure and spare capacity Without infrastructure or spare capacity
Urban Within 2 working days after request Within 5 working days after request Within 20 working days after request
Major Rural Within 2 working days after request Within 10 working days after request Within 20 working days after request
Minor Rural Within 2 working days after request Within 10 working days after request Within 20 working days after request
Remote Within 2 working days after request Within 15 working days after request Within 20 working days after request

Telstra STS repair times

Telstra must repair faults and service difficulties within specified time periods, based on where you are located:

Service location Time for repair
Urban End of 1 full working day after report1
Major Rural End of 2 full working days after report
Minor Rural End of 2 full working days after report
Remote End of 3 full working days after report

You may be entitled to a customer Service Guarantee payment for every working day of delay beyond an agreed repair date.

Telstra Consumer Service Guarantee (CSG) payments

If Telstra are unable to repair your landline (STS) within the agreed timeframe, you may be entitled to a CSG payment. Keep a record of when you report faults and fault numbers to help with this process.

The CSG payment does not apply in some cases. For example:

To learn more, visit Telstra’s website, contact them directly on 13 22 00, or via the My Telstra mobile app (previously the Telstra 24/7 app).

More information

For more information on the USO, visit the ACCAN tip sheet.

If you have any problems getting a service installed or repaired, contact us – we may be able to help.

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