With the rollout of the National Broadband Network underway, many consumers want to know what Australia’s future will be like with universal access to high-speed broadband. What sort of services and applications in the home will telecommunications providers be able to offer their customers? What sort of education and health services can be delivered? Do we have sufficiently strong consumer protections to deal with a rapidly changing market and the proliferation of social media and cloud computing? How can we make sure no Australian gets left behind?

The 2011 ACCAN National Conference features a wide variety of speakers from Government, industry, regulatory authorities and consumer groups, who will each present different – and sometimes opposing – ideas and perspectives. Far from being a conference for “tech heads”, this conference will offer an in-depth exploration of the bigger picture challenges, opportunities and possibilities presented by our broadband future.

Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy will open the conference. 

Professor Paul Harrison will be delivering the keynote address and presenting new research on consumer decision making in the telecommunications market.

Please see final program below.

Download: ACCAN 2011 National Conference Session Details [Word Document - 205 KB]

Full Session details and Presentations

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Please note that Acrobat versions of the conference presentations as provided to ACCAN
can be downloaded by clicking on the Speakers name.

Day 1 – Wednesday 7th September, 2011

Session 1

A Competitive and Fair Market


Chaired by Professor Michael Fraser, Chair, ACCAN Board


Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

National Broadband Network


Mike Quigley, Chief Executive Officer, NBN Co

Keynote address: Consumer Decision Making in the Telecommunications Market

Dr Paul Harrison, Deakin University

Session 2

Broadband for All

This session focuses on ACCAN’s basic principles for our broadband future: that all Australians should have access to high-speed broadband at an affordable price. The session will look at how we can shrink the digital divide that currently separates metropolitan areas from regional, rural and remote areas, and what needs to be done to ensure no Australian is left behind in the transition to high-speed broadband.

Chaired by Sue Salthouse, ACCAN Board


Slides for Teresa Corbin, Chief Executive Officer, ACCAN

Speech for Teresa Corbin, Chief Executive Officer, ACCAN

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband

Senator Scott Ludlum, Communications Spokesman, Australian Greens

Session 3

Consumer Protection and Broadband

In this session we examine consumer protection and broadband. The ACCC will discuss measures to ensure that consumers are protected from false or misleading advertising about broadband speeds and costs. The ACMA will consider how critical information on broadband products should be disclosed to consumers. Communications Alliance will respond to calls for an improved Code and customer service performance. The TIO will discuss the role of external dispute resolution and the management of systemic issues related to broadband.

Chaired by Johanna Plante, Deputy Chair, ACCAN Board


Richard Bean, Deputy Chair, Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

Peter Kell, Deputy Chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

John Stanton, Chief Executive Officer, Communications Alliance

Simon Cohen, Ombudsman, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)

Workshop 1

High-speed Broadband Applications in the Home

This session provides a snapshot of some of the real-life applications of high-speed broadband and asks the question: will ubiquitous access to high-speed broadband change the lives of individuals and communities in a meaningful way?  Experts in this session will talk about real-life applications of broadband in the areas of health, education, art and sustainability, and explore what the possibilities are for the future.

Facilitated by Ryan Sengara, Director of Research and Development, ACCAN


Melissa McCarthy, Head, Royal Institute of Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBD)

Rod Tucker, Director, Institute of a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES). 

Anna Wise, Senior Policy Manager, Consumers Health Forum of Australia

Dr Lisa Anderson, Visual Artist

Workshop 2

Cloud Computing – What is it and what does it mean for consumers?

This workshop will discuss cloud computing, with an introduction to some of the key concepts. The speakers will consider the opportunities and challenges for consumers as more data, applications and services are stored remotely.  The workshop will also consider the privacy and security risks that we may face in this new environment.

Facilitated by Keith Besgrove, First Assistant Secretary, Digital Economy Services, Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE)


Craig Baty, Chief Technology Officer, Fujitsu Australia

Iarla Flynn, Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Google Australia

Rob Forsyth, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Sophos


Day 2 – Thursday 8th September, 2011

Session 4

Industry Panel – Customer Service and Broadband

In this Q & A-style panel session, ABC journalist Lexi Metherell will host a discussion about customer service and the broadband market. Senior representatives from leading service providers will give their views on current customer service challenges, and how their customer service will change as services delivered over broadband proliferate.

Facilitated by Lexi Metherell, Journalist, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)


Paul Fegan, Group Managing Director, Strategy & Corporate Services, Telstra

Maha Krishnapillai, Director of Government & Corporate Affairs, Optus

Cormac Hodgkinson, Director of Customer Service and Experience, Vodafone 

Simon Hackett, Managing Director, Internode

Workshop 3 – Session A

Regional Telecommunications

It’s been three years since the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC) delivered its first report. It flagged an outdated Universal Service Obligation, and inadequate availability, reliability and affordability of mobile and broadband services as major issues for people living in regional areas.  Has anything changed?  As we prepare for another review, hear perspectives from inside the Committee, from those working with farmers, small business and local government, and from researchers on broadband in remote Indigenous communities.

Facilitated by Elissa Freeman, Director of Policy and Campaigns, ACCAN


Rosemary Sinclair, Chair, Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC)

Dr Helen Thompson, Centre for eCommerce and Communications (CeCC), Ballarat University

Anthony Gibson, Communications Spokesman, NSW Farmers’ Association

Assoc. Professor Ellie Rennie, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Swinburne University

Andrew Crouch, Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT)

Workshop 4 – Session A


Regulation and policy for broadcasting is still based on older models of service that are losing relevance as more content is consumed in multiple ways and delivered over various broadband-enabled and mobile devices. The Convergence Review is beginning to tackle these questions. This session will consider some of the key challenges and possible pitfalls of the wide-ranging Convergence Review.

Facilitated by Deirdre O’Connor, Chair, Telephone Information Services Standards Council (TISSC)


Richard Windeyer, Convergence Review Committee, Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE)

Michael McMichael, Chief Executive Officer, National Indigenous Television (NITV)

Jonathan Gadir, Senior Policy Adviser, ACCAN

Workshop 5 – Session B

Access to Telecommunications for People with Disability

The creation of a ubiquitous broadband network has the potential to provide full and equitable access to telecommunications for many Australian consumers with disability – consumers who have traditionally been excluded from the benefits of information and telecommunications technology. The Government’s recent review of access to telecommunication services by people with disability, older Australians and people experiencing illness has opened a dialogue that offers the possibility for real change. This session will explore some of the possibilities that our broadband future can provide to include Australian consumers living with disability in our digital economy in light of this review.

Facilitated by Graeme Innes, Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)


Rob Garrett, Novita (Newell Network)

Keith Besgrove, First Assistant Secretary, Digital Economy Services, DBCDE

Kris Newton, Chief Executive Officer, Deafness Forum

Wayne Hawkins, Disability Policy Adviser, ACCAN

Workshop 6 – Session B

Fair Calls for All 

Fair Calls For All is ACCAN’s public campaign to fight for fair rates for mobile calls to 1800, 1300 and 13 numbers. This session will address the social impact of high charges to essential numbers, the business case for reform and next steps in the fight for change. Panellists will discuss the urgency of this issue in relation to the rapid move to ‘mobile only’ communication.

Facilitated by Cassandra Goldie, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS)


Erin Turner, Fair Calls for All Campaigner, ACCAN

Helen Campbell, Executive Officer, Women’s Legal Services NSW

Jacqui Johnson, Marketing Manager, Alltel

Joanne Willmot, Relationships Australia

Workshop 7 – Session C

The Future of Emergency Services

The way we make emergency calls is changing, with more emergency calls being made from mobile phones. High-speed broadband may also enable people to contact emergency services and receive emergency warnings in new ways. This session will explore possible futures for more accessible emergency calling services using SMS or smartphones.

Facilitated by Kyle Miers, Deaf Children Australia


Duncan McIntyre, Assistant Secretary, Consumer Policy & Post Branch, DBCDE

Tony Bennetts, Chief Information Officer, Australian Communication Exchange (ACE)

Martin Dawson, Business Unit Director, CommScope

Dani Fried, Disability Policy Adviser, ACCAN



Workshop 8 – Session C

Complaint Resolution Futures

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Reconnecting the Customer inquiry hasfound that improving complaints-handling is critical for the industry and consumers. This session looks at how to improve internal complaints-handling, implementation of an industry Standard, and addressing systemic complaints. Modernisation of the TIO governance structure will also be discussed.

Facilitated by Deirdre O’Donnell, NSW Information Commissioner, Information & Privacy Commission NSW


David Brockman, Manager Planning & Stakeholder Engagement, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)

David Havyatt, Havyatt Associates

Neil Harrison, Call Centre Manager, iiNet    

Liz Snell, Senior Policy Adviser, ACCAN


Session 5

Social Media – Voice of the People

Social media has the ability to connect consumers directly with service providers and with each other around consumer issues. Panellists will discuss how instant connection puts power in the hands of consumers, as they are able to expose issues, band together and support each other. This session will examine the use of social media by people with disability, and the potential of the medium for political and social change.

Facilitated by Elise Davidson, Media and Communications Manager, ACCAN


Adam Brimo, Founder Vodafail.com, Mijura Software

Alex Varley, Chief Executive, Media Access Australia

Lilian Spencer, Director, Make Believe



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