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Over the last year the communications landscape has changed dramatically. Consumers have never had more choice yet many consumers are confused about the products and services on offer, and service complaint numbers continue to rise.

In this conference we talk about how the market does, and does not, deliver for consumers. Is customer service improving? Will emerging technology provide better options for consumers in the future? What is the communications industry doing to focus on the vital service part of their businesses and how can it be done better?

The 2012 ACCAN National Conference will feature a wide variety of speakers from government, industry, regulatory authorities and consumer groups, who will each present different – and sometimes opposing – ideas and perspectives. For the first time the ACCAN National Conference will also be featuring a ‘TEXPO’ of new and emerging technologies with a special emphasis on technology for accessibility.

Download: ACCAN 2012 National Conference Program [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 345.01 KB]    

Day 1 - Program and Presentations

9.00‐10.30am Opening Session

Chair:
Professor Michael Fraser AM, Chair, ACCAN Board

Welcome to Country:
Donna Ingram, Cultural Representative, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Keynote address:
Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy,
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Chris Chapman, Chair, Australian Communications and Media Authority

Teresa Corbin, Chief Executive Officer, ACCAN

11.00‐12.30pm National Communications Survey

The results from the inaugural ACCAN National Survey will be discussed. What do the figures tell us about the consumer experience? Is mobile broadband delivering for consumers? What is the extent of hidden ‘bill shock’? And how do people view the way mobile devices are transforming relationships and interactions in public spaces?

Presenter:
Jonathan Gadir, Senior Adviser, Policy and Research, ACCAN
Download: Presentation [PowerPoint Presentation - 1.84 MB]

Panel:
Jenni Mack, Chair, CHOICE Board

Shara Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Market Clarity

Keith Besgrove,
First Assistant Secretary,
Digital Economy Services Division,
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

1.30‐3.00pm Regional Telecommunications

This session focuses on telecommunications in our regional and remote communities. How has the 2011 Regional Review addressed the tyranny of distance for Australians living beyond the urban network? The session’s diverse expert panel will provide on‐the‐ground insight on a range of telecommunications services across regional Australia. 

Chair:
Anthony Gibson, Committee Member, NSW Farmers Association

Panel:
Rosemary Sinclair, Chair, Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee
Download: Presentation [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 383.16 KB]

Daniel Featherstone, Interim Manager, Indigenous Remote Communications Association
Download: Presentation [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 3.24 MB]

Sandra McCarthy, Mayor, Kiama City Council
Download: Presentation [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 3.17 MB]

Peter Kazacos, Managing Director and Executive Chairman, Anittel

3.30‐5.00pm Consumer Awareness and Education

In the rapidly changing communications environment, how can we ensure that communities across Australia are engaged and informed of their rights as consumers? This panel session will explore both industry and grassroots strategies for engaging with consumers on the implications of current and emerging communications services.

Chair:
Matt Levey, Head of Campaigns, CHOICE

Panel:
Rolf Hansen, Chief Executive Officer, amaysim

Sean Casey, Advisor, Broadband Applications, NBN Co

John Stanton, Chief Executive Officer, Communications Alliance

Donna Hensen, Indigenous Women’s Program Coordinator, Women’s Legal Services NSW

Denis Nelthorpe, Executive Director, Footscray Community Legal Centre

Day 2 - Program and Presentations

9.00‐10.30am The New Competitive Environment

A new Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code comes into effect in September and a new Australian Consumer Law has given more powers to the ACCC. So what will all this mean for competition? Will customers have greater or fewer choices, and can they expect different kinds of services and packages over NBN fibre? In this Q&A style panel, hosted by the ABC’s Lexi Metherell, senior executives will reveal the challenges and opportunities presented by this new environment.

Facilitator:
Lexi Metherell, Reporter, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Panel:
Commissioner Edward Willett, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Steve Dalby, Chief Regulatory Officer, iiNet
Download: Presentation [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 1.37 MB]

David Epstein, Vice President, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, Optus

Matthew Lobb, General Manager, Industry Strategy and Public Policy, Vodafone Hutchison Australia

Dr Tony Warren, Group Managing Director, Corporate Affairs, Telstra

11.00‐12.30pm Emerging Technologies

What are the trends and future directions in mainstream technology? This session will spotlight new and emerging technologies in the consumer telecommunications sector. Highlighting four exciting presentations that showcase cutting‐edge technologies, present and future, this session will also investigate whether emerging technologies deliver for all consumers, including those with disability, as they enter the mainstream. 

Chair:
Narelle Clark, Deputy CEO, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Speakers:
Dr Kate Cornick, Executive Director, Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society, University of Melbourne
Download: Presentation [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 2.94 MB]

Greg Alchin, Apple Distinguished Educator

Kursten Leins, General Manager, Strategic Marketing, Ericsson
Download: Presentation [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 1.86 MB]

Dr Gregg Vanderheiden (via videoconference), Director, Trace R&D Center, University of Wisconsin‐Madison

2.00‐3.15pm Delivering Relief when Financial Hardship Strikes

Many people do not anticipate a time when they cannot pay their phone and internet bills, and hardship strikes in a number of ways. This session highlights the various measures that can be brought into play when financial hardship strikes and are explained from a range of perspectives: mediator, regulatory, consumer and supplier. 

Chair:
Carmen Daniels, Director, ACCAN Board

Speakers:
Jim Connolly, President, Financial Counsellors Association of NSW

Simon Cohen, Ombudsman, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

Jeremy Hobbs, General Manager, Financial Services, Optus

3.45‐4.45pm Privacy and Security

Privacy dilemmas are getting bigger every year as more of our lives and essential information are moving online. This discussion will explore online privacy and security policies, and features one of Australia’s leading privacy consumer advocates. A top tech journalist and a broadband services expert will also challenge some common assumptions about whether privacy can any longer exist.

Chair:
Nigel Waters, Board Member, Australian Privacy Foundation
Download: Presentation [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 1.31 MB]

Speakers:
Stilgherrian, Freelance Writer and Broadcaster

Dr Dean Economou, Technology Strategist, National ICT Australia Ltd
Download: Presentation [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 3.9 MB]

Sponsors

Platinum:

         

Silver:

        

Inkind:

           

Morning tea:

Conference footer: Shows coloured dots splashed across the page representing consumers.