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ACCAN recently commented on the Consolidated Industry Codes of Practice for the Online Industry (Class 1A and Class 1B Material). In general, we welcome measures that contribute to a safe online environment, empower consumers, and provide transparency and accountability. However, ACCAN expressed our concern over the constricted time frame for public consultation. The Industry Codes of Practice represent a significant undertaking in internet regulation and for them to be effective in their aims and to minimise consumer harm, consumer consultation cannot be an afterthought.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts has consulted on the draft exposure of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Statutory Infrastructure Providers and Other Measures) Bill 2022. The Bill strengthens the Statutory Infrastructure Provider (SIP) regime, which aims to ensure all Australians have access to modern broadband services.

ACCAN supports the key changes proposed in the bill:

ACCAN recently submitted to the NSW Department of Communities and Justice regarding their proposal to draft a nationally consistent scheme for access to digital records upon death or loss of decision-making capacity. We are aware that access to digital records and digital legacy planning is a challenge for consumers and we support a scheme that simplifies matters for consumers and offers them control of, and access to, their digital records. We expressed our preference for a national scheme to provide consumers and digital providers across Australia with the clearest course of action.

ACCAN recently responded to the ACMA’s Proposed Telecommunications Mobile Equipment Air Interface Standard and consequential amendments to associated instrument consultation.

We supported the proposed update of the Standard as it will provide greater consumer protection and trust in 5G mobile equipment and services.

ACCAN recently submitted feedback to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding an issues paper for its March 2023 Report on Social Media Services. The issues paper will inform the ACCC’s sixth interim report for the Digital Platform Services Inquiry. ACCAN’s submission urged the need for regulatory reform to ensure that Australian consumers continue to enjoy the benefits from social media platforms while reducing their harms.

ACCAN’s submission outlined our support for:

ACCAN recently responded to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts  consultation on the proposed remaking of the Broadcasting Services (“Broadcasting Service” Definition—Exclusion) Determination 2019.

ACCAN has responded to NBN’s discussion paper on SAU Variation: Proposed changes. The Special Access Undertaking (SAU) determines how much NBN can charge for wholesale phone and internet services and provides the framework for non-price issues.

ACCAN recently submitted to the Office for the Arts’ consultation regarding a new National Cultural Policy. The consultation seeks to establish a new roadmap for Australia’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector. As audio-visual content has become increasingly distributed using digital platforms via broadband internet and mobile telecommunications services, we have represented consumer interests on a case-by-case basis.

ACCAN wrote to support the submission made by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S). ACCAN agrees with the ADM+S that digital technology is an important enabler for Australia’s arts and culture. We support digital inclusion measures that allow all Australians to participate in the nation’s cultural life.

The ACCC is currently running an inquiry into the infrastructure used in the supply of mobile telecommunications and other radiocommunications services in regional areas. The inquiry is also exploring the feasibility of providing mobile roaming during natural disasters or other emergencies.

ACCAN has responded to an ACCC consultation on NBN’s proposed variation to its Special Access Undertaking (SAU), where the ACCC must decide whether to accept or reject the proposed variation. The SAU sets out the rules by which NBN provides wholesale access to retailers. The details in the SAU can determine the price and quality of voice and broadband services delivered over the NBN until 2040. The consultation comes after more than a year of stakeholder discussions and workshops hosted by the ACCC which ACCAN has engaged with.

ACCAN recently submitted our views on the 2022 review of the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation (the Code). The Code is administered by Digital Industries Group Inc. (DIGI). The Code was launched in February 2021 and currently has eight signatories: Apple, Adobe, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Redbubble, TikTok and Twitter. The signatories commit to a range of obligations to reduce harms from misinformation and disinformation on their services. The Code also prescribes an independent complaints sub-committee that can help the public resolve disputes with signatories that fail to meet their obligations to combat mis- and disinformation.

The telco regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has recently consulted on proposals to amend the Telecommunications (Listed Infringement Notice Provisions) Declaration 2022 (the IN Declaration). The IN Declaration allows the ACMA to issue infringement notices (fines) when telcos don’t follow certain rules.