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The Federal Government is developing reforms to give consumers greater access and control over their data held by companies they do business with, like banks, energy companies and telcos. The Consumer Data Right will allow customers to transfer their data to different providers to see if those providers offer products that would be more suitable, at a better price.

For consumers, greater use and control of their data could provide significant benefits through helping them to find services they need at reduced prices.

In this consultation, The Treasury is asking for comments on the draft legislation that will underpin the consumer data right, before the legislation is introduced into Federal Parliament.

Everyday savingsIn mid-August NBN Co announced changes to wholesale prices charged to retail service providers (RSPs) e.g. Telstra, Optus, and others for fixed wireless services. We’ve taken a close look at what this is likely to mean for consumers, and this is where we’ve landed.

ACCAN has concerns that the proposed changes to pricing for fixed wireless will result in a material disadvantage to those consumers on low incomes that live in regional areas where nbn services are provided by fixed wireless towers. In particular, the movement to uniform prices will result in consumers currently accessing more affordable, albeit slower NBN fixed wireless offerings, being priced out of the market.

These changes follow similar changes in the way that fixed line services have been priced, and bring the wholesale pricing of fixed wireless services and fixed line services into alignment. ACCAN’s concerns regarding the changes to wholesale fixed line services can be seen here.

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Conference Blog post 01On the 12th and 13th September 2018, ACCAN held our annual conference - ACCANect. Revolving around the theme of ‘Confidence in the Connected World’, attendees were treated to two days full of informative talks and discussion panels from the telco industry, government bodies and academics.

Mark Pesce, inventor, author, educator and broadcaster kicked off ACCANect 2018 by reflecting on the progress that Australia has made in the telecommunications industry and predicting what is to come. From the impending arrival of 8K television to the incorporation of hologram technology into our everyday lives, Mark emphasised the need for industries, governments and consumers to think about a future that is going to be more heavily reliant on communications infrastructure than we can imagine.

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Midas Touch ImageIn 2017, Google and ACCAN once again partnered to offer a paid internship to a recent graduate who wished to explore an emerging communications consumer issue.

After submitting a brief proposal which outlined her desired research project, recent law and media graduate Jelena Ardalic was selected as the winner of the internship. Ardalic’s report, ‘Midas Touch: Consumer Implications of the Use of Smartphone Biometric Data’, discusses the impact that the use of biometrics (e.g. fingerprints, face recognition etc.) may have upon consumers’ privacy.

Midas Touch ImageSmartphone technology now essentially allows us to carry a computer in our pocket, but what happens to all of the data that is collected while we go about our normal daily lives? A new report by Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) examines the implications of the advancements in smartphone biometric data capturing capabilities for Australian consumers.

The use of biometrics in smartphones such as finger print scans and facial recognition have been promoted as a simpler and more secure alternative to traditional security options such as PINs or passwords. While these more modern alternatives offer greater convenience, ACCAN’s new report ‘Midas Touch: Consumer Implications of the Use of Smartphone Biometric Data Capturing Capabilities’ argues consumers must be aware that they are not entirely secure.

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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.

 

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.

 

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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. 

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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.