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ACCAN recently submitted to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ Streaming Services Reporting and Investment Scheme Discussion Paper. The discussion paper requests comments on a potential scheme to ensure that streaming services, such as Netflix, Stan and Disney+, invest in original Australian productions and promote local content on their services. ACCAN made five recommendations:

ACCAN recently provided feedback to the Treasury and Data Standards Body on their Consumer Data Right rules and standards design paper for the telecommunications sector. The consultation asked for informal feedback regarding the scope, eligibility, and implementation of a Consumer Data Right to the telecommunications sector.

ACCAN is supportive of the introduction of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime across the telecommunications sector. However, ACCAN is keen to ensure that the development of the CDR in the telecommunications sector continues to be informed by the lived experiences of consumers, to make sure that this regime is as useful as possible for end users.

ACCAN recently submitted feedback to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding its Discussion Paper for Interim Report No. 5: Updating competition and consumer law for digital platform services. The discussion paper will inform the ACCC’s fifth interim report for the Digital Platform Services Inquiry. ACCAN’s submission acknowledged the need for regulatory reform to ensure that Australian consumers continue to enjoy the benefits from digital platforms while reducing their harms.

ACCAN has recently submitted to the telco regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), to inform its 2022-23 compliance priorities. The ACMA’s Compliance Priorities set out the areas it will focus its compliance and enforcement activities on in the coming year. ACCAN’s submission raised a number of telco areas in need of increased compliance and enforcement activity.

ACCAN recently provided feedback to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) on its draft guidance note, Complaints about Telecommunications Equipment. This guidance note sets out the types of device and equipment complaints the TIO can resolve, and how these will be handled by the TIO. ACCAN’s submission acknowledged the TIO’s ongoing engagement with consumer groups on this issue, and recommended that the guidance note provides additional detail on a number of areas.

ACCAN welcomes the revision of Communication Alliance’s Reducing Scam Calls and Scam SMs Industry Code. The code outlines procedures to reduce the number of scam calls and short messages (SMs) delivered to Australian telecommunications consumers. Scam calls and short messages are annoying at best and harmful at worst and ACCAN approves of measures that limit their spread. While the industry code is a timely addition for restricting scam calls and short messages, it could be further improved with clarification regarding two points:

ACCAN recently submitted to the Communications Alliance review of Industry Code C525:2017, regarding the Handling of Life Threatening or Unwelcome Communications.

After consulting with member organisations, ACCAN is not aware of any issues affecting consumers in relation to this Code, and as such, has recommended this Code continue unchanged.

ACCAN has made a submission to the Department of the Treasury’s Exposure Draft Designation for the Telco Sector CDR.

As previously submitted, ACCAN supports the inclusion of the Telco sector in the Government’s CDR regime.

We were pleased to note that many of our previously recommended data sets were included in the Designation. However, we believe that the CDR will provide greater consumer benefit when additional data sets related to broadband speed and reliability are able to be included in the regime.

ACCAN recently responded to a consultation on revising the ACCC’s Broadband Speed Claims Industry Guidance (the Guidance). The ACCC are considering changes to reflect recent developments in the market including the growing importance of upload speeds and the growth of alternative fixed wireless access networks.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is reviewing 5 legislative instruments which determine how payphones are provided across Australia. The instruments cover payphone location, installation, removal, performance, consultation and complaint handling. In response to the review, ACCAN argued that the instruments should be remade and refined to provide greater consumer protections and to meet the needs of local communities.

ACCAN recently responded to a consultation which sought views on the instruments under Part 20A of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act). Part 20A of the Act requires real estate developers to install fibre-ready ‘pit and pipe’ infrastructure in proximity to buildings prior to the developer selling or leasing the building. The requirement to provide fibre-ready pit and pipe, which facilitates fibre installation in new developments (with exemptions to the requirement captured in a 2011 Instrument and a 2021 Instrument) is now under review.

ACCAN has recently responded to a consultation which sought views on nbn Co’s proposal to develop a quality assurance mark (the Mark) for network extension devices. The aim of the Mark is to assist the agricultural sector in reaching its productivity potential via digital technologies, specifically through extending home-based NBN connections beyond the home.