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Summary of ACCAN's activities from 1 June to 31 August 2014.

Consumer representation and research

ACCAN represented policy positions in 10 government and industry consultations, with some measurable early impact. ACCAN made representations on the competition policy review, the International Mobile Roaming Standard, Use of Section 313 of Telecommunications Act, the IPND, Review of the National Triple Zero Operator and reforming the Customer Service Guarantee. Many of these have been generated from the current industry work on reducing red tape.

We finalised our Research Activity Plan for the 2014-15 financial year. Additionally, we initiated and completed four ACCAN research projects and have provided briefings to individual service providers on the outcomes of some of these research findings. These projects are commissioned by ACCAN and are not part of the ACCAN Grants Scheme.

The ACCAN 2014 National Survey results are complete and analysis is underway. Our Mobile Apps Consumer Attitudes and Experiences research will be launched at the CommsDay Congress in October and ACCAN's Disability Mystery Shopping Project has been presented to industry representatives.

ACCAN Grants Scheme

With the establishment phase for the 2014 Round over, planning is under way for the 2015 Round. A review of the Selection Criteria and Guidelines will be completed focusing on how links can be drawn from projects to issues of high consumer concern. In the next quarter it is also hoped that we can look at ways to work more closely with the newly formed Bureau of Communications.

During the quarter, seven new project deeds were executed forming the commencement of the sixth round of operation. At the 11 June ACCAN Board meeting, the Report of the Independent Grants Panel was accepted. The 2014 Round project awards were publicly announced on 18 June. In addition, the majority of projects from the 2013 Round were completed and launched. The 2012 'Hardship Policies in Practice' project was acquitted in full, while both the 'Homeless and Connected' project and 'Digital Storytelling' are now complete.

Consumer education

ACCAN has worked in partnership with many industry, regulatory, consumer organisations and media outlets to promote key messages about scams, affordability and 1300 calls, accessible app development, and other issues.

We published two new tip sheets and re-published two existing ones in Arabic. Our 'How to use less data on your smartphone' tip sheet was downloaded 10,000 times. We continue to present at a range of events on consumer topics, a highlight being our information stall at the Festival of Eid in Sydney's western suburbs. This event is attended by up to 30,000 participants every year.

In August, ACCAN's CEO had a guest blog post on telemarketing scammers published in Telstra's Exchange blog.

Stakeholder engagement

ACCAN's Industry Engagement Framework includes quarterly meetings with Communications Alliance and bi-annual meetings with AMTA. We also participated in key industry forums and networking events, making presentations and facilitating whenever invited.

ACCAN has held discussions with the ACMA, ACCC, AHRC, Department of Communications and others on a number of matters. In addition ACCAN's Chairperson and CEO met with several high level industry executives and government representatives.

During this reporting period ACCAN has undertaken a review of its Consultation Framework which will ensure a more flexible approach in the future.

ACCAN's Deputy CEO was appointed to a high profile international working group to propose a new system of oversight of the core internet functions from the United States government to the global multi-stakeholder community.

Governance and operations

The ACCAN Board completed its annual review of the Strategic Plan and Mission 2012-2015. On 6 August the Board held a Strategic Planning workshop to begin the process for a review of ACCAN's goals and the development of a new Strategic Plan for 2015-2018.

Media

During the reporting period ACCAN engaged an external consultant and undertook a review of its communications strategies to identify strengths and areas for improvement. This analysis demonstrates that ACCAN has received wide spread media coverage and highlighted that ACCAN is responding well to consumer needs through mainstream media.

Between 1 June and 31 August, ACCAN generated 134 mentions across national print, online, TV and radio media sources, with an average of 45 items per month. This is a decrease from last quarter's total of 259 mentions but above the monthly target. Issues that ACCAN commented on include SMS wholesale pricing, Wi-Fi black spots, accessible handsets for people living with vision impairments, proposed data retention scheme and 1800/1300 calls from mobiles.

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