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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) 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.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has applauded the expansion of Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians. However, the peak body for communications consumers cautioned that the full benefits of telehealth may not be realised if Australians are not online.

“While it is pleasing that the Government has listened to the medical community and made bulk-billed telehealth services available for all Australians, the underlying issue of connectivity remains,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin.

A coalition of nearly 30 community sector organisations and advocates has urged the Federal Government to address the affordability of communications services and equipment to support Australians in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety Cyber and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, cross-sector community organisations including Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), CHOICE, The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), and The Smith Family outlined several recommendations that would enable communities to keep connected, work remotely, and access essential services such as education, government services, and telehealth.

The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC) has welcomed NBN Co’s new measures to support better bush comms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Communications services are a vital utility. As more people work from home and students are asked to study remotely, households will require more data to keep connected. NBN Co’s offer of an additional 45GB of data for nbn Sky Muster customers over the next three months will allow regional consumers greater flexibility to engage with education, telehealth, businesses and government services without worrying about exceeding their data cap.