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Image of a calculator Telecommunication services are essential for ensuring public health and safety, promoting access to educational and employment opportunities as well as social inclusiveness. ACCAN’s Pre-Budget Submission 2019-20 identifies market gaps and provides recommendations on telecommunications initiatives that will benefit consumers including:

Accessible Broadband allows all Australians to connect to essential government servicesA new affordable home broadband product for financially stressed Australians on low incomes should be a key priority for political parties ahead of the 2019 Federal election, according to consumer organisation ACCAN.

Australia’s peak body representing telecommunications consumers, ACCAN, is urging the nation’s political parties to consider a proposal for a wholesale broadband concession that would provide financially stressed Australians with cheaper home broadband.

ACCAN considers that a 50 mbps unlimited broadband service offered at a wholesale price of $20 per month by NBN Co to households receiving government financial support to be the most effective way to achieve affordable broadband for all. This would mean eligible households would pay approximately $30 per month for unlimited broadband – almost halving the current average cost.

Initial estimates indicate that providing this concession to the 1 million plus households on the lowest incomes can be budget neutral.

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The supporters of No Australian Left Offline want affordable broadband. Affordable broadband is a home internet service that enables all Australians to be online regardless of their personal circumstances or where they live, without putting them into financial stress. 

With all Australian government services to be available online by 2025, it’s more important than ever that there is No Australian Left Offline.

Over one million Australians will continue to have access to essential government services with affordable broadband. 

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The benefits of this Federal budget neutral policy

Illustration of Australian map overlayed with a tablet device and data symbols

Economic benefits of affordable broadband

  • Approximately $20 billion saved through move to online services

  • Stronger economy: increases in average incomes of 0.85% per person

  • New business & employment: up to 5400 businesses formed + an additional 3400 to 6400 self-employment opportunities in areas with high NBN rollout

  • Increased tax revenue through higher economic activity, and reduced unemployment

  • Reduced cost & barriers to access for households when accessing essential services, particularly for Australians in regional and remote areas

Without affordable home broadband

  • 1 Million+ low-income households at risk of not switching over to NBN

  • Children struggle to complete homework and keep up at school

  • Young people can’t prepare for the post-school world of further training, education or employment

  • Job Seekers find it difficult to get jobs and training to lift themselves and their families out of poverty

  • Elderly or less mobile people find it harder to access support services and overcome social isolation

 

In Australia there are one million households that are at risk of not switching over to the NBN because of the cost. This limits the opportunities of these households, and threatens the underlying economics of the NBN by reducing take-up of services. Reduced take-up means lower NBN revenues and reduced capacity to provide a return to government. 

 

How can we achieve affordable broadband?

ACCAN proposes a 50 mbps unlimited broadband service offered at a wholesale price of $20 per month by NBN Co to households receiving government financial support.

This would mean eligible households would pay approximately $30 per month for unlimited broadband – almost halving the current average cost.

We estimate that providing this concession to the 1 million + households on the lowest incomes can be Federal budget neutral, and support these households to be connected.

Downloads:

Download: docNo Australian Left Offline - Policy document97.5 KB
Download: pdfNo Australian Left Offline - Policy document751.74 KB

Download: docxNo Australian Left Offline - Media release3.1 MB
Download: pdfNo Australian Left Offline - Media release982.99 KB

Download: pdfA3 colour brochure2.2 MB
 

Supporters of No Australian Left Offline

ACCAN logo     ACOSS logo    ADIA logo

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An older Australian and his daughtrer talk to family via a tablet

 

 

 

ACCAN has announced the dates for its 2019 National Conference.  The ACCANect 2019 will be held in Sydney, 11th-12th September 2019.  Mark your diaries now for Australia's premiere telecommunications conference.

Save the Date: Join us at ACCANect 2019 - Celebrating 10 Years

The summary below outlines ACCAN's activities from 1 September – 30 November 2018.

ACCAN met with industry through the formal quarterly meeting framework as well supplementary meetings as required During this quarter several meetings involved high level liaison with Telstra CEO and Vodafone CEO. ACCAN was also invited to participate in the COAG Consumer Affairs Australia New Zealand meeting in Sydney this quarter. ACCAN representation on committees continues to be extensive and during this period we were actively working 19 committees . ACCAN engaged on 44 different occasions with our members and consumers groups and participated in member events . We represented consumer issues to regulators and government bodies and the ombudsman on at 26 meetings. Several presentations were prepared and delivered by the CEO including at the Commsday Congress and Perth Consumer Affairs Committee.

ACCAN has submitted to 14 consultations in the three months from September to November, nearly all of which involved substantial contributions. We have engaged with Treasury and the ACCC on the developing consumer data right regime; submitted to two ACCC access pricing inquiries (MTAS and fixed line services) as well as the ACCC review of the Facilities Access Code and inquiry into the Vodafone/TPG merger; engaged with two Parliamentary inquiries (on encryption legislation and broadcasting/audio description). We have also continued our engagement with Communications Alliance with a focus on the TCP Code review, and worked with consumer groups on joint input into the industry guideline on family and domestic violence. Our other advocacy to ensure we are representing the needs of consumers has included engaging with disability organisations involved in the Audio Description Coalition on the introduction of audio description, and our ongoing engagement with the TCP Code process.

Our achievements this quarter have been considerable. Nbn Co’s decision to support consumers with non-monitored medical alarms in the NBN switchover has been an issue we have been advocating for several years; the influence of our work on the nbn Special Access Undertaking Variation was evident in the ACCC’s reasoning in refusing the variation; the ACCC’s work on the NBN Wholesale Service Standards Inquiry and the Department’s Consumer Safeguards Review Part B (Reliability) consultation paper closely reflect ACCAN’s policy positions. Our input into the Joint Parliamentary Committee’s inquiry into the NBN Rollout in Rural and Regional Areas shows ACCAN’s influence, with a significant number of our recommendations adopted, and nbn Co’s decision to offer a SkyMuster service with some unmetered data usage is a big win for regional Australian consumers and the direct result of the advocacy of the Regional Rural and Remote Communications Coalition.

All grants projects continue, with one, Hutt St, complete and ready for acquittal. Further progress has been made in preparing for the 2019 round opening. Guidlelines are in their final stages of drafting and all forecasted information has been updated on the ACCAN website. Promotion has begun through all ACCAN channels. ACCAN’s research plan for 2018/19 also continues to be executed with a new project, Incentives & sales practices, agreed and in the field this quarter with Lonergan Research.
From 1st September – 30th November, 2018, ACCAN published four news stories. ‘ACCAN also produced a blog that broke down what the NBN’s fixed wireless pricing changes mean for consumers. It outlined ACCAN’s concerns that the proposed changes to pricing for fixed wireless would particularly disadvantage consumers on low incomes that live in regional areas where nbn services are provided by fixed wireless towers.


During this period, we created a simplified consumer guide to the upcoming Consumer Data Right. This aimed to educate consumers on what the Consumer Data Right is and how it will impact telecommunications consumers moving forward. It also highlighted the need to protect consumer data and information within the legislation.
In November, we designed and published an updated booklet which advised consumers on how to prepare a digital legacy, and the importance of doing so. This is an important piece of consumer education material as it condensed the comprehensive content provided by the source material (University of Melbourne's report - "Death and the Internet") into a more easily read and understand format.

ACCAN total membership is 212. Organisational Membership is now at 109 organisations and 103 individuals. This reflects a slight decrease. A listing of organisational members is included as an appendix. ACCAN is continually working towards being representative of Australian communications consumers and the organisations that represent their interests. The membership base forms only one part of the methodology ACCAN uses to ensure it remains representative of the interests of communications consumers.

ACCANect 2018 – Confidence in the Connected World held in Sydney on 12-13 September attracted 196 attendees, over 40 speakers and 8 industry sponsors. ACCAN received very positive feedback after the event. All presentations and some videos and transcipts are available on the ACCAN website.

ACCAN met with industry through the formal quarterly meeting framework as well supplementary meetings as required During this quarter several meetings involved high level liaison with Telstra CEO and Vodafone CEO. ACCAN was also invited to participate in the COAG Consumer Affairs Australia New Zealand meeting in Sydney this quarter. ACCAN representation on committees continues to be extensive and during this period we were actively working 19 committees . ACCAN engaged on 44 different occasions with our members and consumers groups and participated in member events . We represented consumer issues to regulators and government bodies and the ombudsman on at 26 meetings and with the industry 18 different meetings and events. Several presentations were prepared and delivered by the CEO including at the Commsday Congress and Perth Consumer Affairs Committee.

The ACCAN AGM was held on 13 September. The Board met on 31 October and 1st November with a induction and training held on 31 October. Deirdre O’Donnell, ACCAN Chairperson and Chris Dodds ACCAN Deputy Chairperson were endorsed for another year in their roles.

ACCAN commenced work on its project with the NDIA to deliver a National Disability Telecommunications Informationand Referral Service (Acessible telecoms [AT]) with IDEAS. Several new staff joined the team.

Between 1st September 2018 and 30th November 2018, ACCAN generated 449 media mentions across national print, online, TV and radio. This is an average of 150 items per month. The majority of coverage secured during this quarter was as a result of ACCAN’s response to the TIO’s annual report. This coverage accounted for over 50% of media mentions. The majority of media mentions from September – November appeared on TV. These were followed by radio coverage, online articles, and finally print articles. In addition to the TIO’s annual report, other major issues covered in media included billing issues, the ACCC’s crackdown on telco's using 'unlimited' in ads, the TCP Review, and Parts A and B of the Consumer Safeguards Review.

Download:docxQuarter 2 FY18-19.docx41.49 KB

Download: pdfQuarter 2 FY18-19.pdf456.9 KB

Subcategories

Picture showing map of Australia and voting box exclaiming 'What communications consumers need to know for the Federal Election 2016'Do you:

Have a mobile phone? 
Use broadband? 
Watch television? 
Stream online content?

If you answer yes to any of these questions then
ACCAN’s Federal Election 2016 webpage is for you.

As the peak body for consumer representation in communications ACCAN – Australian Communications Consumer Action Network – represents your interests to get the best deal for consumers.

For the upcoming Federal Election on 2 July we have identified five communications consumer priorities for 2016. These important issues are our focus in the lead up to and after the election. See below for these priorities.

To find out more about their communications policies, we have posed a series of questions to the major political parties. When the answers are available we will post them on this webpage.

You can read further on our communications consumer priorities by clicking the links below or on the left-hand side of the screen. Get in touch with ACCAN if you have any questions on these topics.

 

Banner image for ACCAN Events picturing ACCAN CEO and industry representatives taking part in a consultative forum.

As part of our commitment to community and industry consultation, ACCAN runs and attends a number of events each year.  Our current and upcoming events are profiled on this page.  ACCAN encourages its Members to profile their communications events through our website.

If you would like any further information regarding our events, or to include your event on our site, please contact us.

You can see the transcripts and speakers' presentations from ACCANect 2018: Confidence in the connected world on the conference event page.  If you are looking for information regarding past events it can be found in the events archive.

ACCAN administers an Independent Grants Scheme aimed to support consumer research and consumer representation that helps us achieve our strategic goals


The quarterly ACCAN members magazine casts a spotlight on our most recent work, discusses current trends and contains exclusive interviews with a broad range of players in the telecommunications sector. If you'd like to start receiving your own hard copy of the ACCAN magazine, simply sign up to become an ACCAN member today.

Our collection of past ACCAN members magazines are available to download below.

 

Media Releases

ACCAN's work informs public debate about consumer issues in the communications landscape.  Welcome to our collection of the latest news and current affairs that impact communications consumers. 

Sign up for ACCAN's weekly newsletter to have these news items sent to your email address each week.

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Hot Issues

Welcome to the latest current affairs that impact communications consumers. 

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There's no doubt communications are essential to our daily lives but with technology moving fast, sometimes it's hard to keep up!

We produce a range of tip sheets that provide simple tips and tricks to help with a range of common telecommunications issues.