USO Co is expected to operate from 1 July 2012 and will deliver services by sub-contracting with third party providers "on terms consistent with the Commonwealth's usual commercial practice."
It will take over responsibility from Telstra for USO voice telephony and payphone services in NBN service areas as soon as the Telstra copper in an area is decommissioned and in areas outside NBN coverage two years after it starts operation. It will meet the cost, to be agreed with Telstra, of migrating voice-only customers to a fibre service after the Telstra copper exchange is decommissioned.
USO Co will also fund development by Telstra of an appropriate technological solution to transition 'public interest systems' such as public alarms and traffic lights from the copper network onto the NBN fibre network.
A review will be conducted of the USO voice arrangements in 2018 that will consider the possible 'unbundling' of the USO voice telephony obligation into infrastructure and retail components and whether to put delivery of the voice telephony USO out to tender.