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ACCAN recently submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) consultation on the declaration of the Domestic Transmission Capacity Service (DTCS).Declaring the DTCS means that wholesale transmission prices on certain routes are regulated by the ACCC. Low DTCS prices means more service providers and more competition.

Woman using Auslan on a computerMinister for Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield, in response to an Australian Sign Language video question on the ABC’s Q&A program this week [at 35min 50sec], pledged that Australians who are Deaf, hearing and/or speech impaired will have the service they need when the Government implements the next National Relay Service (NRS) contract.

The issue raised by Deaf Australia CEO Kyle Miers, is that the current cost of providing the NRS is in excess of $32 million per annum and the recently released NRS request for tender has capped the service funding at $22 million per annum for the next three year.

The question of how a 30% reduction in funding can ensure services will continue on a 24/7 basis was asked on behalf of the Coalition of NRS Users Organisations;

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New ACMA consumer protection rules

The ACMA is developing new rules to protect consumers migrating to the NBN, as announced late last year. The ACMA has consulted on the first two measures which focus on improving the way the telco industry handles consumer complaints. These are a new Complaints Handling Standard, and new Consumer Complaints Record Keeping Rules.

ACCAN has submitted on both the Complaints Handling Standard and Record Keeping Rules.

The Federal Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network is inquiring into the rollout of the NBN in rural and regional areas, focusing on the capacity and reliability of NBN satellite, fixed wireless and fixed line networks. ACCAN has submitted to the inquiry, presenting the major concerns of rural, regional and remote consumers and small business.

Some of the main issues and recommendations in our submission are:

ACCAN is alarmed that complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) have increased by 28.7 percent in the six months to December 2017, compared to the same time the previous year. The peak Australian telecommunications consumer body says the TIO’s latest statistics reinforce the need for urgent industry action to put customers first.

“Continuing high numbers of complaints shine a spotlight on weak consumer protections that have existed in telecommunications for some time. This is upheld by the fact that complaint numbers have increased across the board in mobile, fixed line phones and internet services”, said ACCAN CEO, Ms. Teresa Corbin.

“Arguments about whether complaints are the responsibility of the wholesale provider (NBN) or retail service providers do not help consumers resolve these problems quickly. ACCAN strongly supports the new raft of ACMA rules as they are badly needed - particularly the new complaint handling standard and complaints reporting rules.

 

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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 Conference audience and speakers

As part of our commitment to community and industry consultation, ACCAN runs a number of events each year.  Our current and upcoming events can be found below.  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.

 

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. 

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

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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.