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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. 

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed NBN Co’s decision to extend its Education Assistance offer until 15 January 2021. The targeted offer from NBN Co waives the wholesale costs for many services on the 25/5 Mbps speed tier and encourages telcos to offer free or heavily discounted nbn plans to low-income households with school-aged children.

“The nbn Education Assistance offer has meant that thousands of low-income households have been able to connect to the nbn for the first time,” said ACCAN Director of Policy, Una Lawrence.

“Without the financial assistance from this offer, many struggling households couldn’t afford a fixed home broadband connection. This would leave countless children offline and unable to learn from home during the rolling shutdowns of schools across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed action by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) against telcos who breached consumer protection rules.

“Telstra, Optus, TPG and Dodo are four of the country’s biggest telcos; they know the rules regarding migrating to the NBN and what they need to do to keep consumers connected. It is very disappointing that they have failed their customers by leaving them without a working internet service,” said ACCAN Director of Policy, Una Lawrence.

“To have over 8,000 total breaches of NBN service continuity rules is simply unacceptable. The ACMA may need to keep a closer eye on this issue as the NBN roll-out finishes and many more Australians make the switch.”

New research from the National Youth Commission of Australia (NYC) highlights the need to urgently address internet affordability, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

The NYC’s Inquiry into Youth Employment and Transitions Interim Findings Report shows that limited access to technology, insufficient digital literacy and a lack of affordable internet services are limiting opportunities for the nation’s young people.

“The National Youth Commission’s research points to case study after case study that demonstrates the real-life impacts that not being online can have,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin.

“Without access to the internet and the digital literacy skills to navigate online, young people are simply unable to engage with government services to get the help they need.”

Ms Corbin said that the COVID-19 pandemic had shone a light on the digital divide.

 The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) thanks the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) for investigating systemic issues affecting small businesses’ communications services.

“A reliable phone and internet service is fundamental for most modern small businesses,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin.

“Unfortunately, in the past few years we’ve seen the share of TIO complaints from small businesses continually increase. The TIO’s report helps to identify some of the complex issues that small businesses face when there is a fault with their phone or internet service.”

New complaints data released today suggests that telcos need a customer service shake-up as consumers continue to deal with no or delayed action from telecommunications providers, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

Nearly a third (31 per cent) of complaints escalated to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) by between January and March 2020 related to issues with no or delayed action from telecommunications providers. An additional 11 per cent of complaints had a resolution agreed to by the telco and consumers, but not met.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed the passage of the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020. This is a key step to ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the privacy of Australians using the COVIDSafe app.

ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin said that she was pleased that the legislation was amended to address a number of concerns raised by ACCAN and other consumer groups across the fields of health, technology, privacy, human rights, digital inclusion, communications and community interests.

ACCAN's Talking Telco: phone and internet help made easy. The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has today released Talking Telco, a series of guides to help Australians understand how to connect their phone and internet services and how to get help when things go wrong.

Talking Telco has been supported by the Federal Government, with the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP launching ACCAN’s new range of telco consumer advice.

As the current COVID-19 crisis has highlighted, phone and internet services now play an essential role in the everyday lives of Australians.

The Telecommunications Reform Package is due in the Senate this week and the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC) is calling for all sides of politics support passage of the legislation.

The two Bills that comprise the Telecommunications Reform Package include important provisions that will support guaranteed access to reliable telecommunications for all Australians, with an emphasis on regional, rural and remote areas.

The provisions will result in changes to carrier separation rules, provide new statutory infrastructure provider obligations on NBN Co, and will establish the Regional Broadband Scheme to support the partial cross-subsidisation of NBN satellite and fixed wireless services by other network providers.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed news that NDIS participants will be able to purchase Assistive Technology to help them through the COVID-19 crisis and self-isolation.

“Having access to the right phone or assistive technology is vital for people with disability to be able to access important telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ACCAN Director of Inclusion Wayne Hawkins. “Allowing NDIS participants to use their existing plan funding to purchase Assistive Technology is a very welcomed step by the Government.”

Mr Hawkins explained that it was important for consumers to understand what mainstream and Assistive Technology is available and may best suit their individual needs.