The summary below outlines ACCAN's activities from 1 June – 31 August 2017.

The last quarter has been extremely active in the telecommunications sector, with the release of the Productivity Commission’s report into the USO, the introduction of the Telecommunications Reform Package into Federal Parliament, and other numerous industry and government initiatives. The ACCAN policy team has been actively engaged with these and other developments. It is pleasing that we have continued to achieve significant impact through our representation of consumer interests, including increased data allowances for SkyMuster customers; Telstra’s decision to withdraw from new subscription third party billed services; Senate support for retention of the competition notice regime in the Competition and Consumer Act, and incorporation of ACCAN feedback in the ACCC broadband speed guidelines.

The policy team has consulted with ACCAN members and more broadly on consumer policy positions in 14 submissions during the quarter, as well as engaged in numerous meetings and briefings with industry and government stakeholders in the process. The integrity of our work is supported by commissioned research and a wide range of other evidence, to ensure our representation of consumer interests is sound and accurate.

With a tremendous amount of effort from the ACCAN Grants Team, the 2017-18 Grants Round is now well under way. This has included: consultations with stakeholders completed on the list of priority topics, a new panellist recruited and appointed (including holding a formal induction session), the guidelines reviewed to incorporate changes recommended by the s593 review, approved by the ACCAN Board, and the scheme opened for applications taking some 70+ inquiries with a completely new set of submission and assessment forms. A total of 51 applications were received of which 42 were deemed eligible and assessed by the independent grants panel who completed individual assessments, then met on the 22 August to finalise their recommendations which were submitted to the ACCAN Board for approval.

Briefings with telecommunications providers on the mystery shopping (disability consumers) project were completed this quarter. A new project was commissioned with the University of Melbourne to update a previous study on Death and the Internet: Consumer issues in planning and managing digital legacies.

From 1 June – 31 August, 2017, ACCAN published five news stories and two new tip sheets. The theme and title of the 2017 ACCANect Conference was announced in a blog post published on the ACCAN website. This coincided with the opening of registrations for the Conference and was accompanied by a member email. The announcement was also included in WebNews.

ACCAN participated in a range of meetings reflecting much of the various reforms being canvased this quarter. ACCAN participated in a total of 13 different representative body meetings including several meetings of the CA Working Committee reviewing the Mobile Premium Service Code of Practice, and other codes under review such as the TCP Code and the Mobile Base Station Deployment Code. There were 8 meetings with government and regulatory bodies and 23 industry liaison and engagement meetings. The 2017 ACCAN National Conference – ACCANect – preparations are well under way.

ACCAN staff participated in more than 20 different outreach, consumer engagement events and member consultation discussions. The ACCAN policy team has continued to work closely with members and consumer groups to ensure our policy work is representative.

Between 1 June – 31 August, 2017, ACCAN generated 327 media mentions across national print, online, TV and radio. This is an average of 109 items per month. The majority of ACCAN’s coverage (64 per cent) was in online articles. Print articles made up 22 per cent of the coverage, while radio made up 11 per cent and TV accounted for two per cent.

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