Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Tough gig(abyte) for telecommunications consumers in regional SA


The following fact sheets provide information on telecommunication costs for specific SA electorates within the regions that they sit.
All of Regional SA
            Fact Sheet

Yorke & Murray region
            Fact Sheet: CHAFFEY electorate
            Fact Sheet: HAMMOND electorate
            Fact Sheet: FROME electorate

South East SA region
            Fact Sheet: MOUNT GAMBIER electorate
Eyre region
            Fact Sheet: STUART electorate


The South Australian Council of Social Service has today released its latest Cost of Living Update which shows that South Australians in regional areas are not getting the full benefits of the digital revolution.
While expenditure on telecommunications in regional areas is less than Adelaide, regional consumers are getting around 30% less value for money.
The SACOSS report, which is based on the official ABS Household Expenditure Survey data, as well as data from the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII), shows that while telecommunications prices have been decreasing, telecommunications expenditure has increased with higher demand as government, businesses and culture all increasingly move online.
The SACOSS report has found that:

  • Residents in the Greater Adelaide Area spend $50.97 per week on telecommunications, while those in regional areas spend on average $38.72
  • The city/country imbalance in South Australia is worse than the national average
  • Telecommunications expenditure in regional SA households is 76% of the average expenditure in Adelaide
  • This is compared with a national regional/capital average of 84%
  • Regional South Australians get approximately 30% less data for every dollar of telecommunications expenditure than those in Adelaide
  • 22.3% of regional household are not accessing the internet at home (including by mobile phone), by comparison with 15.5% in Adelaide;

SACOSS CEO, Ross Womersley said,
“Access to affordable telecommunications is essential in a digital age and it is especially important in regional areas
“Digital technology offers the potential to overcome some of the disadvantages of distance - closer access to markets, information, government services and online commerce – as well as just making it easier to connect with friends and community who may be many kilometres away
“The ABS data on which we based this report showed clearly that telecommunications costs have a major impact on household budgets, and that this is particularly the case for low income households
“Telecommunications affordability is a major component of digital inclusion – that is, the goal of having everyone able to engage online and get the benefits of digital technologies. But affordability remains a major challenge – particularly for those on low incomes and those in regional areas.”

Telecommunications affordability is one of three key components of digital inclusion (alongside access and competency in using digital technologies).
In the 2018 State Election, SACOSS is calling on all parties to commit to policies on telecommunications affordability and digital inclusion, including:

  • Commitment to a statewide digital inclusion plan or at least as suite of policies to address digital inclusion
  • Provision of free wifi for digitally disadvantaged areas so not all the burden of increased data requirements falls on household budgets
  • Free (unmetered) access to state government websites so that South Australians are not paying to access basic government information and services
  • Regional telecommunications costs breakdown: 


Published Date: 
Monday, 12 February 2018