This submission to the ACMA is about the type of regulation that should be introduced to ensure all consumers are able to make a fully informed choice on whether or not to take a backup battery when they are switched over to a fibre-based telephone service. This will happen to the vast majority of premises in Australia over the next seven years.

ACCAN supported the regulator's view about the potential risks to life and property for some vulnerable consumers from the switch-over to a fibre-based telephone service which won't work in the event of a power blackout. This is in contrast to the present copper-based telephone service which can continue to function in such circumstances if there is power at the exchange.

As we think the risk could be serious for people with medical alarms and the elderly, in this submission we support the ACMA's proposal to require all telcos to ask their customers whether they want a battery backup or not.

ACCAN argued that the compulsory consumer information proposed by the ACMA be made shorter and simpler. We want consumers to clearly understand the choice they need to make and not be showered with pages of confusing fine print.

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