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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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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has urged the Federal Government to prioritise a specific stimulus strategy for telecommunications services to keep Australians connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continuing social distancing and self-isolation efforts have resulted in millions of Australians increasingly relying on their home broadband service. As Australia’s peak body representing telecommunications consumers, ACCAN is calling on the Government to fast-track a proposal for a wholesale broadband concession that would provide financially stressed Australians with cheaper home broadband.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has called on the nation’s telecommunications networks to ensure that no Australian is left offline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the world is undoubtedly entering uncertain times, it has been widely acknowledged that telecommunications networks will have an increasingly important role in keeping consumers connected. COVID-19 is expected to highlight the now vital role of reliable telecommunications services in the everyday lives of Australians, whether for work, education, health, or social use.

“The fact is that an internet connection is now a basic utility,” said ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin. “If people can’t afford to be online, or aren’t guaranteed a reliable connection, there can be serious consequences.”

Passage of the Telecommunications Reform Package is a key step towards guaranteeing country communities access to reliable communications, according to the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC).

Due before the Senate in March, the Telecommunications Reform Package aims to provide improved access to broadband services across the country with an emphasis on regional, rural and remote areas. This would be made possible through the introduction of two separate Bills – the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer) Bill 2019 and the Telecommunications (Regional Broadband Scheme) Charge Bill 2019.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed the announcement of additional identity checks as a positive step towards protecting mobile phone users against scammers.

The introduction of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)’s new Telecommunications (Mobile Number Pre-porting Additional Identity Verification) Industry Standard 2020 aims to prevent fraudulent number porting by requiring telcos to apply stronger identity checks before they transfer a mobile phone number to another provider.

New complaints data highlights the growing impact that unreliable telco services have on small businesses, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

The Quarter 2 Complaints report released today by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) shows that while overall phone and internet complaints are declining, the percentage of complaints coming from small businesses continues to increase.

Telco customers will benefit from clearer communication from their providers; however, further efforts will be needed to protect consumers against unreliable telco services, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

Released today, the Morrison Government’s Consumer Safeguards Review Part B report provides a high-level framework that aims to address reliability issues of telco services at the wholesale and retail level.

Telcos must play their part if consumers are to benefit from changes to NBN Co’s wholesale pricing and data capacity, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

Changes announced today by NBN Co will give telcos more flexibility in what they can offer their customers, starting with a reduction in the wholesale price of a modified 25Mbps service from December 2019. Importantly, these changes to 25Mbps services will affect both fixed line and fixed wireless plans, which mean that households in both metropolitan and regional areas should be able to benefit from cheaper broadband and better options. However, this is entirely dependent on telcos passing the changes on to their customers.

Missed NBN appointments are costing Australians over $15 million per year in lost time, according to analysis from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

The staggering financial impact of NBN Co’s 320 missed appointments per day1 was revealed in ACCAN’s response to the ACCC’s draft decision on the NBN wholesale service standards inquiry.

NBN Co’s proposed wholesale pricing changes are unlikely to meet the needs of consumers, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

In September, NBN Co released a consultation paper to the telco industry that aimed to increase the number of households connected to the NBN. While the proposals outlined in this paper show that NBN Co is listening to ACCAN’s concerns about the current wholesale pricing arrangements, there is still considerable work to be done to ensure that consumers’ needs and expectations of their home broadband service are met.

“While we’re pleased that NBN Co has acknowledged broadband affordability is an important issue for many Australians, we’re concerned their proposals will not address this vital problem,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin.