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The summary below outlines ACCAN's activities from 1 June – 31 August 2018.

Organisation

Role

Web Address

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Telecommunications Regulator

www.acma.gov.au

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Peak telecommunications consumer organisation

www.accan.org.au

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

Australian peak organisation representing the disability sector

www.afdo.org.au

Australian Human Rights Commission

Australian Government funded organisation representing and protecting Human Rights

www.humanrights.gov.au

Brain Injury Australia

Peak organisation representing Australians with acquired brain injury

www.braininjuryaustralia.org.au

Carers Australia

Peak organisation for carers

www.carersaustralia.com.au

Centrelink

Australian Federal Government social security agency

www.centrelink.gov.au

Communications Alliance Ltd

Communications ALLIANCE is the primary telecommunications industry organisation in Australia

www.commsalliance.com.au

COTA (Council on the Ageing National Office)

Represents interests of older australians

www.cota.org.au

Department of Communications

Australian Federal Government department of Communications

www.communications.gov.au

National Disability Insurance Agency

Implementing Australian Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme

www.ndis.gov.au

Department of Social Services

Australian Federal Government Department of Social Services

www.dss.gov.au

Independent Living Centres Australia (inc)

Provides independent information about assistive technology products through State and Territory offices

www.ilcaustralia.org

JobAccess

Australian Federal Government workplace modifications program for people with disability

www.jobaccess.gov.au

Media Access Australia

Australia's only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with a disability.

www.mediaaccess.org.au

Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative

Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) informs consumers about the various accessibility features of mobile phones

www.gari.info

National Council on Intellectual Disability

Peak organisation representing interests of people with intellectual disabilities

www.ncid.org.au

National Disability Services

peak body for non-government disability service organisations

www.nds.org.au

National Ethnic Disability Alliance

Peak organisation representing people from non- English speaking backgrounds with disability

www.neda.org.au

NRS (National Relay Service)

Australian Government relay service providing telecummunications service for Deaf, hearing impaired or speech impaired consumers

www.relayservice.gov.au

Physical Disability Australia

Peak organisation representing interests of people with a physical disability

www.pda.org.au

TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman)

fast, free and fair dispute resolution service for small business and residential customers who have a complaint about their telephone or internet service

www.tio.com.au

Women with Disabilities Australia

Peak organisation representing interests of Australian women with disability

www.wwda.org.au

2019-20 Annual Report

Our communications services have been essential this year throughout rolling national emergencies – including the drought, bushfires, floods and the pandemic. As most of us transitioned over night to working and learning from home, ACCAN’s core policy priorities came into sharp focus. The incredible demand for online government services and the mass take-up of telehealth also reinforced the need for reliable telecommunications services. ACCAN’s role of advocating for trusted, inclusive and available communications for all Australians has never been so important.

Download: pdfACCAN Annual Report 2019- 201.72 MB(note: reading order not accessible)
Download: docxACCAN Annual Report 2019-20 - Accessible version72.76 KB

Download: pdfACCAN Financial Report 2019-201.14 MB

ACCAN and Your Privacy Rights

ACCAN has a commitment to adhere to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), which are contained in schedule 1 of the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).

What personal information does ACCAN collect?

ACCAN only collects personal information that it is necessary for us to carry out our work. If you lodge an enquiry, application, subscription, case study or subscribe to our mailing lists we may require the following information:

  • Contact details, which may include a business contact number or email address;
  • Details of the nature of your enquiry
  • Details pertaining to specific experiences with phone or internet products and services

 

ACCAN may also collect personal details for the purposes of membership. This use is described below.

How is case study information used?

On occasion consumers contact ACCAN to describe their individual experiences with phone and Internet products services. ACCAN treats all cases as confidential. ACCAN is not a complaint handling body. We cannot investigate or handle complaints. ACCAN may use case study information from time to time in its representation work for all consumers.

If you wish to remain anonymous or do not wish to supply specific information to ACCAN, you may do so; however, please note that the ACCAN may not be able to use your data when analysing consumer issues.

Disclosure to other parties

From time to time ACCAN may provide case study information, including personal information, to agencies such as the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Communications Alliance and other relevant industry bodies. Where ACCAN makes a decision that your case should be referred to another agency, we will gain your consent prior to disclosing any of your personal details.

Other information collected by ACCAN

In order to carry out its functions, ACCAN maintains a database of industry contacts and government agencies. ACCAN also maintains a database of individuals and organisations who have asked to receive ACCAN publications, media releases, WebNews and other information.

Access to your information

You have the right to access the information about you that ACCAN may have collected and held. Access to your information can be arranged by contacting ACCAN.

Any complaints about ACCAN's privacy policy or procedures can be made to the Chief Executive Officer.

Information Logged When Using the ACCAN Website

What information does the ACCAN website collect?

To help ensure that our website is providing useful advice to as many people as possible, ACCAN uses Google Analytics to collect aggregated anonymous statistical information.

This information is collected for statistical purposes only. No attempt will be made by ACCAN to identify you or your browsing activities.

Our website uses Google Analytics, a service which transmits website traffic data to Google servers in the United States. Google Analytics does not identify individual users or associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. We use reports provided by Google Analytics to help us understand our website traffic and webpage usage.

By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner described in Google's Privacy Policy and for the purposes set out above. You can opt out of Google Analytics if you disable or refuse the cookie, disable JavaScript, or use the opt-out service provided by Google.

Electronic mail addresses

ACCAN will only record your email address if you send us a message or subscribe to our mailing lists. This will only be used for the purpose for which you have provided it, and will not be added to a mailing list unless you request that this be done. If you elect to unsubscribe from WebNews or other mailing lists this will be done as soon as practicable. We will not disclose your email address without your consent.

Member information

Members of ACCAN are able to check and update their details from this website. Authorised ACCAN staff are also able to access members' full details.

Members' contact details provided to ACCAN are used for general liaison, the distribution of relevant information about ACCAN activities and issuing invoices, ACCAN mailing list and requests for publications. Information provided for these purposes will be used for these purposes only. It will not be distributed further or disclosed without the user's consent.

Links to other sites

This site contains links to other sites. ACCAN is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these websites.

Internet security

If you are submitting information over the Internet that you wish to remain private, you should be aware that there is a small possibility that information you submit could be observed by a third party while in transit.

If you would like to use another method to contact us or provide us with information, please feel free via telephone, fax or post.

From section 3.1 of the ACCAN Constitution:

  1. to be a peak body in Australia representing the interests of consumers in relation to communications and telecommunications issues;

  2. to promote the telecommunications consumer objectives of accessibility, affordability and availability to all consumers;

  3. to promote the development of Australian information and communications technology resources;

  4. to develop a strong, coordinated voice for consumers and to represent and advocate on behalf of consumers to Government, regulators and the
    telecommunications industry;

  5. to undertake research, policy development and education on consumer telecommunications issues;

  6. to facilitate access to and dissemination of information to consumers, consumer representatives and consumer organisations;

  7. to advocate on behalf of consumers on telecommunications laws affecting consumers, law reform, policy development and in relation to industry practices;

  8. to participate in regulatory and co-regulatory activities; and

  9. to contribute to the development of Government telecommunications policy.

Strategic Plan: www.accan.org.au/about/strategic-plan

Constitution: www.accan.org.au/about/constitution

What is Foxtel Play?

Foxtel Play is a subscription video on demand service provider that allows consumers to watch video entertainment online. Key information about this provider includes:

  • The service is operated by Foxtel, Australia’s largest pay television provider

  • The content is largely a selection of videos aired on Foxtel’s pay television service.

How can I join and play videos using Foxtel Play?

To join Foxtel Play, you will need a credit or debit card.

  1. Go to the Foxtel Play website

  2. Select the ‘Get your 2 week free trial now’ button

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts

Note: If you do not want to be charged for using the Foxtel service, you will need to cancel before the end of your 2-week free trial.

To watch Foxtel Play, you will need a device that is:

  • Connected to the internet

  • Capable of running a web browser or a Foxtel Play app

Devices can include:

  • Smart TV

  • Game console

  • Smartphone or tablet

  • Desktop or laptop computer

Specific information can be found on the Foxtel Play home page.

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How accessible is Foxtel Play?

According to research conducted by Curtin University, Perth:

  • Closed captions are currently not available on this Foxtel service.

  • Audio described content is currently not available on this Foxtel service.

  • The website and apps on devices such as tablets are not entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant, meaning that some users are likely to experience difficulties in finding and playing video content with their assistive technologies.

What tips and tricks can I use to overcome the accessibility barriers on Foxtel Play?

Here are some tips and tricks provided by consumers that have used Foxtel Play to maximise your accessibility:

  • Try a different device: consumers have indicated that some platforms may be easier to use with assistive technologies than others. For example, if you are having difficulty with the website, the app on an Android-based tablet or an iOS device such as an iPad may work better with the device’s built-in accessibility features

  • Watch Foxtel pay television instead: the broadcast channels of Foxtel provide closed caption content, and as such this may be a better alternative than the streaming service if there are specific shows you enjoy that are only available on Foxtel.

Are there more accessible video on demand services available?

There are a number of different subscription video on demand services available to consumers, and these services offer different accessible content. With most services offering some form of free trial, it may be worth testing a service to determine which one works best for you. In addition to this tip sheet, Curtin University has also created tip sheets for Stan, Presto, Quickflix and Netflix Australia.

The video I want to play is not accessible. What can I do?

If you are unable to find or play a video due to accessibility issues, there are a number of steps you can take to voice your concerns. Please refer to the Video on Demand Subscription Services: Accessibility and Your Consumer Rights tip sheet created by Curtin University as part of this series or follow the links in the help section below.

Where can I get additional help and information?

For additional help regarding Foxtel Play, you can go to Foxtel Play Support. There are also opportunities for consumers to discuss service issues.

The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

 

In order to sign up with some businesses, such as phone companies or internet providers, consumers are often required to be able to prove their identity. This can be problematic for people who do not have the typical standard identification documents such as a driver licence or a passport.

This tip sheet is intended to outline alternative methods that are accepted by telecommunications companies, specifically, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

Pre-paid mobile service

When getting a pre-paid mobile phone or mobile broadband service the law requires businesses to verify a customer’s identity at the time the service is activated. There are a number of different documents that can be used to verify who you are for the purpose of activating a pre-paid mobile service.

These include the following:

Category A documents

  • An identification card issued in the name of the purchaser by a tertiary education institution.
  • A licence or permit issued in the name of the purchaser under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law.
  • A passport issued in the name of the purchaser.
  • A statement issued under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law to the effect that the purchaser is entitled to receive a financial benefit.
  • A birth certificate in the name or former name of the purchaser.
  • Any other document that is recognised as a proof of identity under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law.
  • Example: A Keypass card issued to a resident of Victoria or a proof of age card issued under a State or Territory law.

With all forms of ID, make sure that it has not expired (the expiry date should be in the future).

When activating a new pre-paid mobile service the business is required to ask how many pre-paid services the customer already has, If this new service brings the customers total pre-paid mobile services to 5 or more the business is required to ask for additional identification.

Post-paid mobile phone or internet services

When setting up a post-paid service such as a mobile phone contract or internet service, companies will generally require more information about who you are. This is in part how they are able to know that you will be responsible for paying your bill each month. This is often referred to as the ‘100 point identification check.’ These documents are usually divided into two separate categories, primary identification documents and secondary identity documents.

The most common way of gaining the required 100 points of identification is to provide one primary document and one or two secondary documents. The primary document is one with your photo on it. Typically documents such as driver licences or passports are primary documents. Secondary documents may have your photo on them however this is not a requirement of a secondary document.

Typical secondary documents include (but are not limited to):

  • A valid credit or debit card in your name
  • A valid University or TAFE identity card in your name
  • Valid leases and utility bills

While it is easier to get a service if you have the typical photo ID it is not essential. Below are the ways you can still sign up for a post-paid service with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Each of these telecommunications companies has a different process.

Optus

Typically, you can pick and choose from a minimum of one primary ID. When choosing your primary ID, make sure that it has your photograph and shows your name, date of birth and signature.

If you don't have any primary ID, the Optus customer service agent can discuss your suitability using the secondary ID that you have available.

Forms of ID accepted by Optus
Primary ID Secondary ID
Australian Driver's Licence Medicare Card
Australian Learner's Permit Australian Government issued benefits card
e.g. Pension Concession Card, Health Care Card (with current address)
Australian Boating Licence Australian Private Health Insurance Card
Australian Shooter's Licence Credit / Debit or ATM Card
Keypass (with photo and date of birth) Current Bank Statement or Online Financial Statement
Personal Information Card (Tasmania) Bank Welcome Letter (issued in the last 30 days)
- Must be accompanied with matching Credit / Debit / ATM Card
Proof of Age Card (with photo) Mortgage Documents (with current address)
Australian Passport Birth Certificate or Original Birth Extract
New Zealand Passport Marriage Certificate
Other International Passport (with valid VISA) Citizenship Certificate
Blind Citizens Australia Identity Card Current Utility Bill (issued in the last 90 days)
- e.g. Electricity, Gas, Rates Notice, Telecommunication
Vision Impaired Transport Concession Card Tertiary Student ID Card (with photo, student number and institution)
- e.g. University or TAFE
Working with Children Card Confirmation of Tertiary Enrolment
Working with Vulnerable People Card Rental Agreement / Bond Notice
Australian Military Identification Taxi Licence (with photo)
Australian Defence Force Driver's Licence DFAT issued Diplomat Card (with photo)
Australian Police Identification  

Telstra

Telstra’s typical 100 point identity check includes a single primary document such as a driver licence or passport along with one or two pieces of secondary identification.

For consumers with a disability who do not have a primary document with photo, Telstra has an exemption process for meeting the 100 point identification check.

Exemption Process

If a customer with a disability cannot provide a form of Primary ID Telstra can accept three forms of Secondary ID that total 100 points or greater.

The secondary ID should include a form of ID which confirms they have a disability (for example, a Disability Support Pension Card which has the letters DSP).

Secondary Identification accepted by Telstra
Document Type Description




Points
Current Telstra Customer Must be more than six months 70
Police/Defence Force ID With Photo 60
Credit Card with photo Credit cards should only be obtained from the customer as a last resort if they can't produce another Secondary ID type 50
Aged Pension card   40
Credit, Debit, or ATM card Australian financial institution cards only
Credit , Debit or ATM cards should only be obtained from the customer as a last resort if they can't produce another Secondary ID type
40
Medicare card   25
Disability Pension card   25
Health Care card   25
Social Security Card   25
Birth Certificate If the name changes, they need to provide a marriage certificate 40
Mortgage Document   35
Certificate of Title Title Number, issuer and issue date 35
Valid Australian Proof of Age   35
Employment ID card With Photo, Employee number and employer 40
Employee ID No Photo   30
Tertiary Student ID card With Photo, Student Number-Issuing body such as University or TAFE 25
Drivers Licence (International / Overseas)   25
Private Health Insurance Membership card   25
Local Council Rates notice   25
Gas, electricity, vehicle registration bills Less than six months old 25
Drivers Licence Paper   25
Adoption/Marriage certificate   25
Electoral Roll record With issuing body and issue date 25
Financial Institute account Statement With issuing body and issue date 25

Vodafone

Vodafone business process requires certain ID for the 100 points ID check. For consumers without a Driver Licence or passport, an Australian Government Proof of Age card, Photo Card, Keypass is required. This must be submitted with a Green Medicare Card plus a credit or debit card or other document type listed below.

Primary documents accepted by Vodafone
Document Points
Valid (not expired) Australian/New Zealand Passport 70 points
Valid (not expired) International Passport 70 points
Drivers Licence or Permit issued by the Australian Government, including Learners Permit 70 points
Valid Police/Defence Force ID photo 70 points
Australian Government Proof of Age card/Photo Card/Keypass (must be submitted with a Green Medicare Card or a Passport to prove Permanent Residency) 60 points

 

Secondary documents accepted by Vodafone
Document Points
Credit Card - Australian or International Bank issued (max 1 per Customer) 40 points
Green Medicare Cards are the preferred form of secondary ID 30 points
Interim (Blue) and Reciprocal (Yellow) Medicare Cards are acceptable only in conjunction with a Passport , as they denote Temporary Residency 30 points
Current Australian Pensioner Card 30 points
Original full (not extract) Australian Birth certificate 30 points
Valid NSW Birth card with photo issued by NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 30 points
Current Australian Healthcare Card 30 points
Current Australian Bank or Card Statement (submit under Bank Statement) 30 points
Current Australian Bank Transaction listing (submit under Bank Statement) 30 points
Rates Notice (<12 months, name/address) 25 points
Current Australian Utility or Telco invoice 25 points
Valid Private Health Insurance Membership Card 25 points
Tertiary Student ID Card (name and photo) 25 points
Tertiary Certificate of Enrolment (submit under Student ID) 25 points
Debit/ATM Card - Australian or International Bank issued (maximum 1 per application, and International ATM cards must display the “PLUS” logo) 20 points


The map was prepared using available data from Telstra (June 2016), nbn (October 2015) and the Department of Communications and Arts (MyBroadband Version 4 2016). It identifies areas, and the reasons, that may be unable to get an ADSL service and when these areas will have services over NBN.

Tell me more

In 2016 ACCAN commenced an annual survey of small business operators to provide an insight into the most prevalent telecommunications issues affecting small business in Australia. The 2016 survey has now closed. We will commence our 2017 survey later this year.

ACCAN will use the survey reports to highlight concerns to the telecommunications services providers and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) to work toward improved services for Australian small business consumers.

Survey reports

2016 Survey

Download: docxSmall business survey 2016 report794.86 KB

Download: pdfSmall business survey 2016 report1.19 MB

 

Young woman reviewing her bill while holding her disconnected phoneWhat are your rights?

Network outage? No service? Call failure?

  • If you have been disadvantaged or lost money due to a phone or internet outage, you might be able to claim compensation.
  • Compensation should make up for your loss.
  • For example, if your internet is out for one week you could ask for your money back for that week. You may be able to claim for costs incurred, like getting your internet fixed or using extra mobile data.

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Woman with luggage walking towards airportThe sun is shining, cricket commentators are beginning to take over the airwaves, and barbeques across the country are being scrapped and cleaned ready for the first snags of the season; summer is coming to Australia and with it one of the nation’s busiest travel periods. Whether we’re road tripping across the country or travelling half-way across the world, many of us will find ourselves relying heavily on our phones during the summer holiday season. To help you make the most of your travel and avoid ruining your post-holiday glow with a nasty bill shock, we’ve curated our top tech travel tips.

Federal Election 2019   ACCANs Analysis blog post imageWith the 2019 Federal Election on its way, Labor, Liberal and the Greens have begun to announce the policies that they will take to the election.

ACCAN will be compiling the communications policies of the major parties in an effort to provide Australians with a quick and easy guide to each party’s priorities.

Please note that this is a live blog and will be updated as new policies are announced.

Last updated: 14.05.19

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Happy young school girl

The supporters of No Australian Left Offline want affordable broadband. Affordable broadband is a home internet service that enables all Australians to be online regardless of their personal circumstances or where they live, without putting them into financial stress. 

With all Australian government services to be available online by 2025, it’s more important than ever that there is No Australian Left Offline.

Over one million Australians will continue to have access to essential government services with affordable broadband. 

#NetNecessity logo

 

The benefits of this Federal budget neutral policy

Illustration of Australian map overlayed with a tablet device and data symbols

Economic benefits of affordable broadband

  • Approximately $20 billion saved through move to online services

  • Stronger economy: increases in average incomes of 0.85% per person

  • New business & employment: up to 5400 businesses formed + an additional 3400 to 6400 self-employment opportunities in areas with high NBN rollout

  • Increased tax revenue through higher economic activity, and reduced unemployment

  • Reduced cost & barriers to access for households when accessing essential services, particularly for Australians in regional and remote areas

Without affordable home broadband

  • 1 Million+ low-income households at risk of not switching over to NBN

  • Children struggle to complete homework and keep up at school

  • Young people can’t prepare for the post-school world of further training, education or employment

  • Job Seekers find it difficult to get jobs and training to lift themselves and their families out of poverty

  • Elderly or less mobile people find it harder to access support services and overcome social isolation

 

In Australia there are one million households that are at risk of not switching over to the NBN because of the cost. This limits the opportunities of these households, and threatens the underlying economics of the NBN by reducing take-up of services. Reduced take-up means lower NBN revenues and reduced capacity to provide a return to government. 

 

How can we achieve affordable broadband?

ACCAN proposes a 50 mbps unlimited broadband service offered at a wholesale price of $20 per month by NBN Co to households receiving government financial support.

This would mean eligible households would pay approximately $30 per month for unlimited broadband – almost halving the current average cost.

We estimate that providing this concession to the 1 million + households on the lowest incomes can be Federal budget neutral, and support these households to be connected.

Downloads:

Download: docNo Australian Left Offline - Policy document97.5 KB
Download: pdfNo Australian Left Offline - Policy document752.71 KB

Download:  docNo Australian Left Offline - Affordable Broadband for the regions102 KB
Download:  pdfNo Australian Left Offline - Affordable Broadband for the regions759.57 KB

Download: docxNo Australian Left Offline - Media release3.1 MB
Download: pdfNo Australian Left Offline - Media release982.99 KB

Download: pdfA3 colour brochure2.2 MB
 

Supporters of No Australian Left Offline

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ACCAN logo     ACOSS logo    Adult Learning Australia logoADIA logoAnglicare logoASCCA logo     Australian Privacy Foundation logo       Benevolent Society logo  BU 2020 LogoBlindaCitizens Australia logoCMHA logo          Community Legal Centres Australia logoConnecting Up logoCOTA logo  CPSA logo   Good things Foundation logo Infoxchange logo      Internet Australia   Leep LogoMulticultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia)NEDA logo People with Disabilities Australia LogoRRRCC logo 2020TSF Logostart broadband logo CMYK croppedtadwa LOGOThink + Do Tank foundation logo    Uniting Care Australia logoWorkVentures logoWWDA Logo HR 2179px

An older Australian and his daughtrer talk to family via a tablet

 

 

 

 

Accessible telecoms logoOlitech Easy Mate +

Type of device: Mobile Phone

Olitech Easy Mate Plus

This device may not be used to access the internet

This device does not have a touchscreen

Accessibility Features:

    • Cognition:
      • Voice Notes
      • Simple Instructions
      • Simple Reminders

    • Hearing:
      • Visual Alerts - Electronic Message
      • Ringer Volume Adjustable
      • Hearing Aid T-coil Coupling
      • Messaging Options - Text Messaging/SMS
      • Visual indicators on Display - Network
      • Visual Alerts - Incoming Calls

    • Vision:
      • Screen Magnifier
      • Standard Number Key Layout
      • Tactile Key Marker - '5'
      • Talking Keys

    • Speech:
      • SMS Personalisation and Reuse
      • Messaging Options - MMS
      • Messaging Options - Text Messaging/SMS

    • Physical:
      • Automatic Redial
      • Guarded/Recessed Keys
      • Easy to Press Keys
      • Lanyard Pin for key ring or Lanyard Strap
      • Headset - plug connected
      • Cradle charger

More information is available on:

Olitech Easy Mate+ PDF User Manual
Olitech You Tube videos

 

NDIS Logo

 

dev090

Accessible telecoms logo

Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro

Type of device: Mobile

Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro

This device may be used with Wi-Fi or a data plan to access the internet.

This device has a touchscreen.

Accessibility Features:

      • Cognition:
        • Voice Notes
        • Simplify Display
        • GPS Capability
        • Copy and Paste
        • Simple Instructions
        • Photo Associated Telephone Book
        • Assistance Instructions
        • Simple Reminders
        • No Screen Timeout

      • Hearing:
        • Supports Closed Captioning for Web Video or Streaming
        • Front Facing Camera
        • Adjustable Maximum Volume Control
        • Two-way Video Communications
        • Visual Alerts - Electronic Message
        • Ringer Volume Adjustable
        • Messaging Options - Text Messaging/SMS
        • Visual indicators on Display - Network
        • Visual Alerts - Incoming Calls
        • Device Coupling - Bluetooth/WLAN

      • Vision:
        • Screen Reader
        • Screen Magnifier
        • High Contrast Mode
        • Display Characteristics - Colour Differentiation
        • Display Characteristics - Adjustable Brightness Control
        • Voiced Menus
        • Adjustable Font - Size
        • Adjustable Font - Style
        • Audible Cues - Battery
        • Standard Number Key Layout

      • Speech:
        • SMS Personalisation and Reuse
        • Messaging Options - Predictive Text
        • Messaging Options - MMS
        • Messaging Options - IM
        • Messaging Options - Email
        • Messaging Options - Text Messaging/SMS

      • Physical:
        • Stylus or Prosthetic Device support
        • Voice Recognition for Accessing Features
        • Voice Recognition for Dialling
        • Automatic Answer
        • Flat Back for Table Top Operation
        • Device Coupling - Bluetooth/WLAN
        • Predictive Text Input
        • Speaker-phone capable
        • Easy to Press Keys
        • Headset - plug connected

More information is available on:

Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro Website

Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro PDF User Guide

 

NDIS Logo for at resources

dev139

The summary below outlines ACCAN's activities from 1 September – 30 November 2019.

 [Watch on Youtube: Video will Autoplay. 
Remember: Use Wi-Fi to watch this if you can]

 

Avoiding Phone and Internet cover image

Scammers are constantly changing the ways they work and adapting to new technologies. To keep yourself safe, it’s important to know how scammers can use phones and the internet to try to profit from your personal information.

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Choosing a Small Business NBN Internet Plan cover image

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is Australia’s wholesale internet provider. This means that when you sign up for an NBN plan, you must order the service through a telco (e.g. Telstra, Optus, TPG).

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Small Business Making a Complaint cover image

If you are unhappy with the service you are receiving from your telco, you can make a complaint.

Telcos have to follow rules about when small businesses can be disconnected, help they must provide if you can’t pay a bill, and more. If your small business spends less than $40,000 per year with one telco for your internet, landline and mobile phone services, you’re protected by these rules.

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Mobile and Internet Everyday Money Saving Tips cover image

Phone and internet bills can quickly add up. To help you keep costs down, we’ve pulled together our top mobile and broadband money saving tips.

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Towards the end of 2019, ACCAN started thinking about what a fully accessible communications sector would look like. We wanted to develop a roadmap of shared goals to illustrate what is needed to ensure all people with disability in Australia have full and equal access to communications technologies and services.

In developing the roadmap, ACCAN sought feedback from a range of organisations supporting people with disability. We asked three key questions:

  1. What communications issues do people with disability currently experience?
  2. What communications issues might people with disability experience in the future?
  3. What approaches could help address these existing and anticipated communications issues?

ACCAN Winter Magazine 2020

Download: pdfACCAN Magazine Issue 36 Winter 20201.45 MB

Download accessible version: docxACCAN Magazine Issue 36 Winter 2020 - accessible version29.83 KB

ACCAN is deeply concerned about the inadequacy of existing government programs supporting improved communications infrastructure in remote Indigenous communities (RICs). These communities are among the most disadvantaged and digitally disengaged in the country.

The pre-existing digital divide has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 lockdown. While there has been an accelerated take up of digital services such as videoconferencing, remote server access, and telehealth for those with access and skills, communities that are disconnected are at a much greater disadvantage at this time. Very few remote Indigenous people have the option of home schooling, working from home, or accessing basic services online. Most RICs have restricted all non-essential movement due to the high risks associated with COVID infection, increasing the need for remote access to services, including health, education, Centrelink, MyGov, justice, banking and so on. However, with an estimated 30% of remote and very remote Indigenous people without household access to telephony or internet, and many Shire/Council offices, schools and other service centres closed, some essential services have not been available to many remote Indigenous people.

ACCAN recently responded to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications inquiry into the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (2021 Measures No.1) Bill 2021. This Bill proposes amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, including in relation to subscription television captioning rules.

In our submission ACCAN stated that the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 remains the most appropriate place for captioning requirements to be set out. We recommended broader amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 to embed the same levels of access features (including captioning, audio description and Auslan interpreting) across all subscription, video on demand, commercial free-to-air and national broadcasters. We made a similar recommendation in response to the Media Reform Green Paper.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has heeded the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)’s call for no Australian to be left offline, with the release of the Human Rights and Technology Final Report

The report, presented to the Attorney General, details the Australian Human Rights Commission’s support for a concessional broadband rate for low-income households to make internet access more affordable and improve digital inclusion.

“The past year has demonstrated just how essential it is to be online,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. “With Melbourne in the midst of its latest lockdown, and families forced back into remote work and schooling, we need to act now to make sure that our most vulnerable have access to a reliable, affordable broadband product.”

ACCAN has announced the date for its 2021 National Conference. ACCANect 2021 #DigitalDownload will be held Online, 8th September 2021. Mark your diaries now for Australia's premiere telecommunications conference.

ACCAN National Conference 2021 - Save the date: 8 Sept 21

Network and meet new people

We expect over 200 attendees including industry leaders, international delegates, consumer groups, government and regulators as well as mainstream media. The ACCANect 2021 digital event platform offers all delegates live access to Speakers sessions as well as interactive networking opportunities with other delegates, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors.

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Internet of Things BannerIn Australia, and worldwide, the demand for consumer IoT devices and appliances is soaring as they become more affordable and the ongoing rollout of 5G mobile technology in Australia means in just 2 years, the average Australian household will likely contain 18 IoT connected devices.

Internet of Things (IoT) powered smart devices and appliances provide consumers with optimal convenience, however, Australia’s current regulatory system offers consumers little protection. An enforceable regulatory regime is needed.

The IoT Position Paper Launch will highlight the key areas of concern for IoT devices in Australia and what consumers need from an Internet of Things regulatory framework.

The following e-commerce policy is offered as an outline to the e-commerce facilities available through this site.

List of services offered by ACCAN

  • Organisational membership to ACCAN valued between $0.00 and $275.00 annually (inc. GST).
  • Individual membership to ACCAN valued between $0.00 and $33.00 annually (inc. GST).
  • Registration for the ACCAN National Conference. This service is not currently offered through accan.org.au. The approximate value will be $120 – $900 (inc. GST).

Note:
These services are currently offered by ACCAN (July 2011) but are not intended to limit the services offered in the future. Prices are reviewed by ACCAN executives and Board on an annual basis and are subject to change. 

Refund policy

If ACCAN membership is not approved by the Board, all monies will be refunded to the applying organisation or individual within 14 business days of the Board’s decision being made available to the applicant.

Attendees of the ACCAN National Conference will have the option to cancel their registration.  If registration is cancelled within 14 days of the event no refund will be offered, otherwise a full refund will be given.

Delivery / Returns / Postage

There are no delivery, returns or postage requirements relating to ACCAN’s e-commerce activities.  ACCAN endeavours to make all membership applications a paperless process for applicants. For any items posted by the applicant to ACCAN in relation to membership, the cost of postage is paid by the applicant.

Invoices

Invoices are automatically generated by our system and will be clearly identifiable as being issued by ACCAN. If you require any further information or copies of invoices please contact ACCAN via our Contact page.

Credit card details

All credit card payments made to ACCAN will be kept confidential by our e-commerce providers (Bendigo Bank and E-Way) in accordance to industry standards and regulations. If a credit card payment is made via mail or telephone, details will be kept confidential and held securely by ACCAN. ACCAN will endeavour to make any purchase appearing on your credit card statement identifiable as being made to ACCAN.

Prices

All prices quoted by ACCAN will be in Australian dollars and include GST. 

Contact details

ACCAN can be contacted on all e-commerce matters using the details available on our Contact page.

 

Infographic showing results of ACCAN 2016: small business survey. 96% of small businesses have trouble with at least one telecommunications services

Australian small businesses provide employment for around 4.8 million people. As most small businesses rely on telecommunications services to be able to do business, it is essential these services be available, reliable and affordable. When a small business cannot access a broadband connection or make phone calls, business proceses can become difficult. When a small business operator waits in a call centre queue or is transferred between different customer service representatives trying to have a fault resolved, they are not only losing time, but money. This impact on productivity and turnover affects not only the small business owner, but its employees and customers.

ACCAN has produced guides that will provide small business consumers with the tools to assist them to:

  • Understand their rights as a phone and internet consumer

  • Be aware of the important features of telecommunications services and products to help them to choose products that best suit their business needs.

  • Understand available complaint mechanisms

  • Learn ways to get the most out of communications services they rely on

Research Reports:

 

Telstra

Disability Equipment Program

Rental telephone equipment for access to fixed line service (home phone line)

Includes:

  • Large button phone
  • Volume control phone
  • Teletypewriter
  • Flashing light alert

For enquiries about the program, eligibility, to order a product or to trial a product: Contact the Telstra Disability Enquiry Hotline on:
1800 068 424 (Voice)
1800 808 981 (TTY only)
1800 814 777 (Fax)

You can also find more information on the Telstra website.

Directory Assistance Helpline

A live directory assistance service for people who have trouble using Telstra's White or Yellow Pages directories (phone books).

  • Provides phone number and physical location of listing.
  • Requires pre-registration

For enquiries about eligibility and registration contact the Telstra Disability Enquiry Hotline on:
1800 068 424 (Voice)
1800 808 981 (TTY only)
1800 814 777 (Fax)

Call connect fee exemption

A call-connect service for registered users available to people who cannot use a phone keypad or otherwise make a phone call on their home phone.

  • Requires pre-registration
  • Requires certification by a suitably qualified medical practitioner

For enquiries about eligibility and registration contact the Telstra Disability Enquiry Hotline on:
1800 068 424 (Voice)
1800 808 981 (TTY only)
1800 814 777 (Fax)

Priority Assistance

Priority assistance for registered customers with a diagnosed life threatening illness.

Includes:

  • Connection of first standard telephone service
  • Repair of a fault on one nominated standard telephone service where no other telephone services are working

For more information call: 132200 or visit the Telstra support page.

Optus

Disability Equipment Program

Telephone equipment for access to fixed line service.

Includes:

  • Cordless telephone with features to assist people who have trouble using a standard handset
  • Teletypewriters - rental

For more information on Optus TTY call:
1300 301 937 (Voice)
1800 500 002 (TTY)

You can also find more information on the Optus website.

Operator-assisted directory service

Free directory assistance for people who have trouble using directory services.

For more information see Optus Disability Services or call 133 937 (general inquiries option) to apply for a free operator-assisted service.

Welcome to the ACCAN employment page.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, ACCAN, a not-for-profit organisation, maintains an accessible work environment and encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, persons with disabilities and people from culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse backgrounds.

ACCAN is Australia’s peak body representing the interests of all consumers in communications issues. ACCAN is an important and independent consumer voice promoting the accessibility, quality of service, affordability and availability of communications services for all Australian consumers with particular concern for vulnerable consumers whose needs are underrepresented.

  • High profile consumer body
  • Communications industry
  • Diverse, interesting role working in vibrant NGO
  • Supportive work environment
  • Sydney CBD location with easy access to public transport

 

Apps for All logo - Horizontal pink

Colourful apps floating out of a tablet screen

The Australian Communications Consumer Action network (ACCAN) is pleased to announce the 2015 Apps For All Challenge, sponsored by Telstra.

About

Every minute 47,000 apps are downloaded worldwide, but millions of Australians may be missing out on the digital revolution if apps are not accessible.

The Apps For All Challenge is back in 2015 to award the outstanding apps which are accessible to all Australians.

An accessible app is designed with the largest number of people in mind – including people with disability and older Australians. Accessibility is not only crucial for the almost 1 in 5 Australians living with some form of disability, but it also means developers can target millions more customers who were previously locked out of the app market.

In honouring Australia's most accessible apps, the Apps For All Challenge will raise awareness and encourage Australian developers to be world leaders in accessible mobile technology. The winning apps will be announced at the ACCAN National Conference in September 2015.

Winners in each category will receive a cash prize from Telstra  and promotion through Telstra social media.

The categories

Nominations will be accepted in the following categories:

ACCAN's Wayne Hawkins using his favourite app "TapTapSee"

  1. Most accessible mainstream app
  2. Most innovative app designed for people with disability or older Australians
  3. Most accessible children's app
  4. Most accessible game app

What exactly makes an app accessible?

Accessibility means that an app can be used by the most people possible without the need for modification. Many people have, or develop with age, impairments related to vision, hearing, cognition or mobility. Apps which address these needs in their design and operation are more accessible than apps which do not have any consideration for users' differing abilities.

For example, if an app uses video, the video should have captions for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired. For users who are blind or vision impaired, control buttons should include an "alt tag" to alert users of the button's purpose.

Apps incorporating the following features will be reviewed more favourably:

  • Ease of use – including ease of download and installation
  • Market gap – apps which fill a market gap for one or more user groups
  • Value for money – apps which provide good value for money and do not require people with disability to pay more for the same functionality
  • Universal design – the app is accessible across all user groups
  • Availability – available across multiple operating systems

Accessibility guidelines for developers

Things to remember

  • Only Australian developed apps are eligible
  • An app can only be nominated for one category
  • Nominated apps must be designed for one or more of the following mobile operating systems; iOS, Android, Windows
  • Existing apps can be nominated
  • The nominated apps will be evaluated by an independent panel of Australian accessibility experts. The panel will shortlist the best three apps in each category, with the winning apps announced at the ACCAN National Conference in September 2015
  • Nominated apps should conform to ACCAN's values and vision

How to nominate an App

Anyone can nominate an app. Nominations can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call ACCAN on 02 9288 4000 / TTY 02 9281 5322.

Nominations close on 15 June 2015. If you have any questions please email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Download: docApps For All Challenge 2015.doc87.5 KB

Download: pdfApps For All Challenge 2015.pdf226.68 KB

Credit reporting tipsheet coverDownload: docCredit Reporting72.5 KB

Download: pdfCredit Reporting817.83 KB

What is credit reporting?

Credit reporting is used by organisations to help decide whether or not they are willing to lend money to a particular person. Credit providers and credit reporting agencies are the main organisations involved in credit reporting. Credit providers are businesses such as banks, car loan  companies and telecommunications service providers that lend money or provide credit to their customers.

Credit providers send information about your debts to private companies called credit reporting agencies (CRAs). There are three main CRAs in Australia:

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Read full article: Top Tips for phones and internetOur Top tips for Phones and Internet consumer information pack consists of six brochures telecommunications consumer issues including:

  • How to use less data on your smartphone

  • Tips for picking a good value NBN internet plan

  • What affects the quality of my broadband?

  • 5 things you need to know about NBN

  • How to make a complaint that gets heard

  • Telecommunications compensation - What are your rights?

These brochures cover issues that are regularly experienced by many consumers. The brochures are full of useful tips and advice; the pack is designed to be a go to guide to help consumers navigate the often confusing telecommunications market.

The Strategic Plan provides insights into ACCAN’s mission, values and strategic goals. The Plan will direct the organisation’s work for the next three (3) years and sets out how ACCAN will achieve its mission of available, accessible and affordable communications that enhance the lives of consumers. 

Download:pdfACCAN Strategic Plan 2018-20211.36 MB

Download: docxACCAN Strategic Plan 2018-202152.18 KB

 

 

 

Your contribution to improving communications services for Australians is important!  The benefits of becoming an ACCAN member are:

We put consumers first

We are a community-based, member-driven, not-for-profit, non- party political organisation.

Be heard:

Tell us about your issues and opinions through direct contact with us. We also have expert Standing Advisory Committees, which members can nominate to join, which help us identify consumer issues and strategies to address them. 

Be informed:

Our weekly newsletter will keep you up to date with news and issues affecting consumers and the communications industry. Your membership also means you will receive ACCAN Magazine, published quarterly, which will keep you up to date with our policy, grants and research activities, as well as industry and regulatory news, tip sheets and profiles of members.

Be equipped:

ACCAN tip sheets and educational resources will help you and your constituents on consumer rights and important issues.

Fight the good fight:

Take part in our campaigns, research and grants projects to help us advocate for consumer rights.

Networking:

Participate in ACCAN Events, including discounted fees for our annual conference, profiling your work and events through our website, find other events and contacts through ACCAN.

Have a say:

Your membership to ACCAN entitles you to nominate and vote for directors on the ACCAN Board.  You can also choose to become a non-voting, Associate Member.

About membership

ACCAN has three categories of membership:

    • Ordinary Members are 'not for profit' organisations or individuals whose purposes align with ACCAN’s.  They are able to nominate and vote for positions on ACCAN’s board of directors;
    • Associate Members (non-voting) are organisations or individuals interested in working with ACCAN but do not wish or are not eligible to be voting members; and
    • Life Members are current members who are acknowledged by ACCAN as having made a significant contribution to consumer rights in the communications field.

We value your voice

ACCAN trusts our member network to inform us about the communications issues that are affecting themselves and/or their members/clients. To effectively advocate for change our lobbying and campaigns need to be evidence based and supported by strong personal stories. We therefore regularly seek input from our members in the form of surveys or occasional telephone calls. If you don’t have the time to participate, we don’t mind but equally welcome contact from our members whenever there is an issue that you’d like us to look at.

Apply

Take the first step today and become a member by calling ACCAN on (02) 9288 4000 or complete the online Individual or Organisational membership application.

Alternatively, fill in the forms below and return to membership[at]accan.org.au.

Organisation Membership

Download:  docxOrganisational Membership Application Form90.11 KB

Download:  pdfOrganisational Membership Application Form587.2 KB

Individual Membership

Download: docxIndividual Membership Application Form86.1 KB

Download: pdfIndividual Membership Application Form589.29 KB

 

 

Young woman looking concerned about phone bill
The Centrelink Telephone Allowance needs urgent review.

Read more

 

What is Presto?

Presto is a subscription video on demand service provider that allows consumers to watch video entertainment online. Subscription options consist of just TV shows, just movies or both TV shows and movies. Key information about this provider includes:

  • Presto is operated as a joint venture between Foxtel and Seven West Media.

  • Presto features some streaming content from Foxtel as well as content from other sources.

  • Subscriptions are monthly and can be cancelled at any time.

  • Movie-only and TV show-only subscriptions are available for a cheaper price than a subscription to both movies and TV shows.

How can I join and play videos using Presto?

To join Presto, you will need a credit or debit card.

  1. Go to the Presto website

  2. Select the ‘Start the one month free trial now’ button

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts

Note: If you do not want to be charged for using Presto, you will need to cancel before the end of your one-month free trial.

To watch Presto, you will need a device that is:

  • Connected to the internet

  • Capable of running a web browser or a Presto app

Devices can include:

  • Smart TV

  • Game console

  • Smartphone or tablet

  • Desktop or laptop computer

Specific information can be found on the Presto Devices page

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How accessible is Presto?

According to research conducted by Curtin University, Perth:

  • Closed captions are currently not available on Presto.

  • Audio described content is currently not available on Presto.

  • The website and apps on devices such as tablets are not entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant, meaning that some users are likely to experience difficulties in finding and playing video content with their assistive technologies.

What tips and tricks can I use to overcome the accessibility barriers on Presto?

Here are some tips and tricks provided by consumers that have used Presto to maximise your accessibility:

  • Try a different device: consumers have indicated that some platforms may be easier to use with assistive technologies than others. For example, if you are having difficulty with the website, the app on an Android-based tablet or an iOS device such as an iPad may work better with the device’s built-in accessibility features

  • Participate in Presto discussion forums to request closed captions: there are some discussions taking place by consumers requesting closed captions.

Are there more accessible video on demand services available?

There are a number of different subscription video on demand services available to consumers, and these services offer different accessible content. With most services offering some form of free trial, it may be worth testing a service to determine which one works best for you. In addition to this tip sheet, Curtin University has also created tip sheets for Netflix Australia, Stan, Quickflix and Foxtel Play.

The video I want to play is not accessible. What can I do?

If you are unable to find or play a video due to accessibility issues, there are a number of steps you can take to voice your concerns. Please refer to the Video on Demand Subscription Services: Accessibility and Your Consumer Rights tip sheet created by Curtin University as part of this series or follow the links in the help section below.

Where can I get additional help and information?

For additional help regarding Presto, you can go to the Presto Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and contact information page.
The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

 

Hand holding ethernet cable behind modemConsumers who are unable to get a broadband service often face a confusing and frustrating time.

ACCAN's Get Connected resource aims to help consumers understand the issues around why they are unable to get a broadband service and tips on how to get a service.

The mapping tool helps to understand the reasons that prevent a neighbourhood from getting an ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) broadband service. For example, if there are few ports available at the local exchange, if the neighbourhood is too far from an exchange or if the exchange is not ADSL enabled. It also provides consumers with a timeline of how long the neighbourhood may have issues.

The six helpful steps suggest actions that consumers can take to get a broadband service.

ADSL availability map


The map was prepared using available data from Telstra (June 2016), nbn (October 2015) and the Department of Communications and Arts (MyBroadband Version 4 2016). It identifies areas, and the reasons, that may be unable to get an ADSL service and when these areas will have services over NBN.

Tell me more

Six helpful steps if you can’t get a broadband service

Not being able to get an internet service can be extremely frustrating.

ACCAN has put together these options of broadband services for consumers struggling to get an ADSL internet service.

Note: We have assumed that an average household needs at least 50GB of data a month. Each household is different. An average house using Satellite internet uses 32GB of data a month (April 2017), while an average h...

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Female farmer using smartphoneWe the undersigned join together as a Coalition to highlight our collective concern about the lack of equitable access to reliable and quality telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote Australia. We represent the businesses, communities and families of rural and regional Australia.

Our members include some of the most innovative businesses and individuals in Australia. Yet we remain locked out of future economic growth and prosperity through the digital divide – undermining Australia’s productivity.

We firmly believe that access to better communications services across regional Australia will lead to better outcomes for the entire nation.

Contacting a financial counsellor

Call a financial counsellor for free on 1800 007 007

For more helpful information visit the website for Financial Counselling Australia’s National Debt Helpline.

How talking to a financial counsellor can help you

If you're having difficulty paying your bills, you can call a financial counsellor. Their services are free and confidential.

They can help you figure out:

  • how to organise your money
  • how to pay your bills
  • how to get the support you need.

Even if you feel you are coping, a fresh set of eyes may help you sort things out more quickly, or identify other forms of assistance you weren't aware of.

A financial counsellor can talk to your service provider for you

Often, phone, mobile and internet providers do not give out financial hardship contact details directly to customers.

However, many financial counsellors know the systems well and who to talk to. If a financial counsellor calls your provider on your behalf you are more likely to get the help you need.

Financial counsellors may also know other services you can use as well as other forms of assistance you could be eligible for.

 

Centrelink Telephone Allowance

If you have a Pensioner Concession Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, you might be eligible for the Government’s Telephone Allowance, as included in the Pensioner Supplement or Seniors Supplement.

You can read more information about whether you can get the Centrelink Telephone Allowance by clicking here.

Telstra Pensioner Discount

The Telstra Pensioner Discount provides eligible pensioner customers with a monthly call discount on their Telstra home phone service.

If you are eligible for the discount, you can also get free access to Call Control, a waiver on late payment fees, and fee-free payment options.

You can register by calling Telstra on 13 2200.

Telstra Disability Equipment Program

This program provides Telstra customers with products that make calling easier for people with disability. These products include phones with larger buttons, visual alerts, cochlear implant adaptors, and teletypewriters (TTY). If you are eligible you can rent the equipment for the same price as a normal phone handset.

For more information:

  • Visit Telstra’s disability services page.
  • Call the Telstra Disability Enquiry Hotline (Mon – Fri 8am – 5pm EST) on
    • 1800 068 424 (voice)
    • 1800 808 981 (TTY).

Thank you to everyone who attended ACCANect and made it such a valuable experience

Digital technology has transformed consumer experiences around the world. Consumers can buy products, access information, and communicate with people anywhere in the world with just the touch of a button. We are told that soon everything will be connected so the theme of this year’s ACCANect is ‘Your place in the connected world’.

This “always on”, always connected world raises some big questions for consumers. Is our personal information safe online? Do we know what data is being collected about us and are we happy with how it is being used or shared? How do new services make decisions about us and are they fair? How can we make sure everyone can access an open internet, as well as benefit from the convenience, choice and lower prices?

ACCANect was an opportunity for consumers, providers and government representatives to get up to speed on what’s available now, what’s over the horizon and what the benefits and challenges are going forward.

As well as debate and discussion, ACCANect will provided practical tools for those attending to navigate the connected world. We looked at the latest research as well as successful initiatives both here and overseas to promote and improve connectivity.

Transcripts and presentations will be put into the sessions below when available.

ACCAN believes that everyone must have equal, reliable and appropriate access to the emergency call service (Triple Zero) from a range of devices. Our position is that people should be able to use SIMless phones to genuinely contact Triple Zero as needed.

Proposals to reduce non-genuine calls to Triple Zero have included barring calls from SIMless devices. There are several situations when calls to Triple Zero appear to come from SIMless devices. ACCAN recommends more research into whether devices without SIMs represent a high proportion of all non-genuine calls made to Triple Zero.

The Panel assesses applications to ACCAN's Independent Grants Program and recommends the strongest applications to the ACCAN Board for funding. The Panel meet to discuss proposals and hold separate reviews of grant applications as needed. 

The summary below outlines ACCAN's activities from 1 June – 31 August 2019.

COVID19: Telco services and technology

During the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing social distancing and self-isolation efforts have resulted in millions of Australians increasingly relying on their phone and home broadband services.

ACCAN has pulled together the telco information you need to know on:

 

Unfortunately, some Australians are at risk of being left behind because they are unable to afford a home broadband service. As this becomes the main way that people can study, work, and access telehealth services from home – this is simply not acceptable. ACCAN is calling for affordable home broadband to be prioritised now.

A coalition of nearly 30 community sector organisations and advocates has urged the Federal Government to address the affordability of communications services and equipment to support Australians in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Sector Organisations Call on Government to Act on Communications Affordability Issues

Find out more on
#NoAustralianLeftOffline

To help communications consumers understand the latest updates from the telco sector and how consumers may be affected, ACCAN will updating our live blogs with new developments as they occur.

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Family looking for Telco AssistanceLearn what support is available from telcos, NBN Co and state governments for families and households.

  • NBN Education Assistance Packages - NBN has provided funding for telcos to offer cheaper nbn plans for low-income families. Find out what plans are available and if you are eligible.

 

  • Online Learning and Access to Devices - COVID-19 containment measures have required many school students to learn from home. Find out what device loan programs are in place for students and families across the country.

 

 

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ACCAN Autumn 2020 Mag Cover

Download: pdfACCAN Magazine Issue 35 Autumn 20207.7 MB

Download accessible version: docxACCAN Magazine Issue 35 Autummn 2020 - accessible version38.25 KB

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These guides are designed to help you understand how to get your home or small business phone, mobile and internet connected, and how to get help if there are problems with your service.

Talking Telco also includes great tips for saving money on your phone and internet service and how to stay safe online.

Your Internet and Home Phone

Learn how to get connected to an NBN phone or internet plan and how to get help if things go wrong.  If you need a satellite service you can download the Sky Muster Guide.

Your Mobile

Need help choosing a plan? Want to learn how to solve common problems? Find help here.

Your Telco Rights

Can’t afford your bill? Want to make a complaint? Learn about your rights as a telco consumer.

Your Digital Safety

Tips to help keep yourself safe online and over the phone.

Your Money Saving Guide

Tips to help you cut costs on your phone and internet plans.

Your Small Business Guide

Phone and internet advice tailored for small businesses.

 

 Choosing An Internet Plan cover image

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is Australia’s wholesale internet provider. This means that when you sign up for an NBN plan, you will need to order the service through a telco (e.g. Telstra, Optus, Vodafone etc.).

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 [Watch on Youtube: Video will Autoplay. 
Remember: Use Wi-Fi to watch this if you can]

 

Choosing a Mobile Plan cover image

Prepaid or postpaid?

There are a wide range of pre and postpaid plans available on the market. The main benefit of using postpaid is that you can buy a new phone with these plans, while prepaid plans may be better if you want to avoid unexpected extra charges and already have a mobile phone.

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Cant Afford My Bill cover image

Sometimes people are unable to pay their bills due to illness, unemployment, experiences of domestic or family violence, or other changes in circumstances.

It’s important not to ignore your bill, because there is help available.

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Making a Complaint cover image

If you are unhappy with the service you are receiving from your telco, you can make a complaint.

How to make a complaint

Your telco will have information on their website on how to make a complaint. The steps below can help make it easier:

  1. Clearly state at the beginning that you are making a complaint and explain what it’s about.

  2. Save any emails and keep details of phone conversations (date, time and person you spoke with). If you use live chat on your telco’s website, make sure you save a copy of the conversation. You can do this by taking a screenshot on your computer, phone, or tablet. You can also take a photo of the conversation, or print it out.

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Icon Easy English

Easy English focuses on presenting key information rather than all the detail. Words are combined with images to enhance the message for the reader. Ideally, reading an Easy English document is a shared activity between the reader and another person, such as a friend, a family member or support person.

ACCAN has produced the following guides in Easy English.

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Hand holding up report cover that reads 'Telcos for all'Centre for Accessibility

Grant Round: 2020

Amount: $69,794

About  |   Episode 1  |   Episode 2  |   Episode 3  |   Episode 4 

ACCANect Online 2020

Deirdre ODonnelll - ACCAN Chairperson2020 has demonstrated the essential nature of communications in modern Australians’ lives. From the devastation of the summer bushfires at the beginning of the year to the sudden and widespread shift to remote working and learning during the COVID-19 crisis, the need for reliable phone and internet services has never been more pressing for consumers, small businesses and the nation.

ACCANect Online provides a platform for telecommunications consumers to hear from leading voices in the telco sector about the key communications issues that are impacting consumers today and into the future. The new multi-part video series from ACCAN features presentations on the accessibility of communications services, issues relating to regional, rural and remote Australians, and digital inclusion, as well as interviews with ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin.

Read more about the speakers below.

Deidre O'Donnell, ACCAN Chairperson

 

A new report released by ACCAN today delves into young people’s experiences and issues with accessing and using phone and internet services.

We know that for many young people, phone and internet services are vital for work, study, accessing services and keeping connected with family and friends.

Our research focused on:

Proposed rules for wholesale telecommunications service providers must be tightened to protect Australians from under-performing phone and internet services, and slow connection and fault rectification timeframes, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

The draft Telecommunications (Statutory Infrastructure Providers – Standards, Rules and Benchmarks) Determination 2021 proposes standards, rules and benchmarks for telecommunications carriers that provide wholesale broadband services, such as NBN Co. The rules proposed are in relation to timeframes for connections, repairs and appointment keeping, rebates, speeds, remediation and record keeping.

What media reforms are proposed in the Green Paper?

Spectrum reform

The key reform proposal relates to technical changes in the way broadcasting content might be delivered. Australian broadcast television is delivered using ‘spectrum’, and there is only a finite amount of spectrum available. Currently, all of the available spectrum is being used for free-to-air television broadcasting.

However, new digital broadcasting technology means less spectrum can now be used to deliver the same broadcasting services. The Government would like television broadcasters to work together to use less spectrum because:

  • If enough broadcasters agree to broadcast on less spectrum, there will be more free spectrum available to be used for other purposes. One of these potential purposes is to reallocate that spectrum to improve telecommunications networks in currently underserviced areas.
  • Because the amount of spectrum available is finite, it is a valuable asset. The Government could auction off this spectrum for a profit, which it says could then be re-invested. A fund could be established to support more regional news and more Australian drama, documentary and children’s content.
  • For example, the profit could be invested in more local news services in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia, and/or local television and film content production. The Green Paper doesn’t specify how much of the profit would be invested in local and regional news, or Australian content production.

 

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The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications released the Media Reform Green Paper: Modernising television regulation in Australia in December 2020 for consultation.

The Green Paper proposed that:

  • Australian broadcasters and free-to-air television networks may be able to make a ‘one-time transition' to a new broadcaster's licence with reduced tax and content quotas on multichannels.

  • In exchange, those who take up the ‘new licence' must agree to transmit content on reduced radiofrequency spectrum, with surplus spectrum to be auctioned off to the telecommunications industry and proceeds used to funds to finance Australian screen content production and local news.

  • Large Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) services and Advertising Video-on-Demand (AVOD) providers may be forced to invest into Australia's screen industry.

Australia’s peak communications consumer body is seeking a part-time (22.5 hours per week) Communications Assistant.

Communications Assistant (6-month contract)

  • High-profile consumer body
  • Communications industry
  • Supportive work environment
  • Remote “home office” work environment

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Communication Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images, names, and audio recordings of people who may have passed away.

 

Acknowledgement of Accessibility

ACCAN acknowledges the need to actively promote equal access to all ACCAN events, consultations, submissions and other information. This reflects our principles of equal access and meaningful inclusion of people with disability. ACCAN strives to be a model in this field, for other not-for-profits, industry and government.

ACCAN endeavours to maintain its website in accordance with the WCAG 2.1AA guidelines. We welcome feedback on our content.

 

External Content Acknowledgement

Although ACCAN takes care to direct our subscribers to sites with accurate and reliable content, we advise that ACCAN is not responsible for the content within external sites and has no control over the views, services or information contained therein. Information contained on external sites may not necessarily reflect ACCAN's policies, standards or beliefs.

 

 

 

Front cover image of Making the Right Call BookletDownload: Making the Right Call: Your Rights As a Phone and Internet Customer [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 197.99 KB]

Download: Making the Right Call: Your Rights As a Phone and Internet Customer [Word 2007 Document - 46.84 KB]

As a telecommunications customer, you have rights that apply to your mobile phone, landline phone, internet and, if it's provided by a telco, your pay TV service. ACCAN has produced a guide, Making the Right Call, that summarises your rights as a phone and internet customer as outlined in the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code and other relevant laws, regulations and industry codes.

Relevant legislation

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the Australian telecommunications regulator overseeing among other things:

  • The Telecommunications Act 1997
  • the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999
  • The Telecommunications (Equipment for the Disabled) Regulations 1998

People with disabilities have the right to access voice telephony, or an equivalent, under the Universal Service Obligation (USO).

Features and equipment that must be available on or for use with the standard telephone services (STS) are:

  • one-touch dialling memory
  • hands free capability—a speaker and/or a handset cradle
  • built-in hearing aid coupler
  • cochlear implant telephone adaptor
  • volume control—to amplify either the incoming or outgoing caller's voice
  • alternative alerts to indicate that the telephone is ringing—either an additional ringing device with adjustable volume, tone and pitch, or a visual alert
  • lightweight handset
  • the facility to connect a second piece of equipment in parallel with the existing telephone

Customer equipment used with the STS, including fax machines with a handset system, must have:

  • a raised 'pip' on the '5' digit key—this tactile indicator helps people who are blind or vision-impaired to locate number keys
  • hearing aid couplers built into the handset limits the strength of the magnetic field radiated from standard handset receivers and minimises interference for a person with a hearing aid

National Relay Service Equipment

The National Relay Service (NRS) helps people who are Deaf, Deaf-blind or have a hearing or speech impairment communicate over the telephone network via operator-assisted text, video and voice telephony. The NRS must provide the following equipment:

  • teletypewriter (TTY)— this helps users to type their message on a keyboard and read the conversation on a screen
  • modem— to help users on a computer to type their message and read the conversation on the computer screen
  • telebraille— this helps users to type their message on a Braille keyboard and read the conversation in Braille.

Type and Read

If a person with a TTY or a computer modem wants to communicate with someone who does not have this type of device, they can use the NRS. Alternatively, a hearing person who wishes to communicate with someone who is Deaf or has a hearing or speech impairment, but does not have a TTY or a computer modem, can also use the NRS. The NRS can facilitate a text to voice or voice to text call.

Type and Listen

The type and listen service allows people with a speech impairment to better access the telephone service. A type and listen user can listen to the phone conversation of another person and type their responses on a TTY. The NRS facilitates such a call by connecting the two parties.

Speak and Read

The speak and read service is for people who have a hearing impairment but no speech impairment. A speak and read user uses their speech to communicate with a hearing person over the telephone and reads the responses on a TTY. The NRS facilitates such a call by connecting the two parties. The NRS also offers a service that allows communication between two speak and read users, known as speak and read to speak and read. It enables two people with a hearing impairment to both use natural speech to communicate with each other via the NRS and read the responses from the other person on a TTY.

Speak and Listen Relay

This service is for users with a speech impairment. It enables them to have a two-way conversation over the telephone. The speech impaired caller speaks directly to another person over the telephone while the NRS relay officer listens in the background to the call and will repeat any part of the message that has not been understood by the receiver of the call. The relay officer spends time at the beginning of the call getting to know the caller's speech style and if necessary, the details of what the call is about.

Text Emergency Service

The TTY and modem number for the Emergency Relay Service is 106.

The 106 Emergency Relay Service allows people who are Deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment to contact emergency services (police, fire and ambulance services) using a text based communication device such as a TTY or a computer with modem access.

As of 1 July 2013 the National Relay Service also offers:

  • Video relay for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired and who prefer to use Auslan. This service is available Monday-Friday 7.00 am – 6.00 pm (EST)
  • SMS relay to connect to the NRS using SMS text. This service is available 24 hrs/7 days a week

Accessing equipment

Telstra has to offer the full range of disability equipment, under the USO, but both Telstra and Optus have Disability Equipment Programs.

The Australian Human Rights Commission

Under Section 24 of Australia's Disability Discrimination Act (1992), providers of goods and services are required to make those goods and services available to all Australians including those with disability, unless to do so would incur undue hardship. The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) provides information about how this Section of the DDA relates to the provision of telecommunications goods and services. For more information go to the Human Rights Commission website.

Communications Alliance Guideline G586:2006

This Guideline has been withdrawn. The information contained in the guideline is now provided on the Communications Alliance website. The information provides considerations for industry participants to ensure that the communication needs of people with disabilities and older people continue to be met in the current and emerging communications environments. It is intended to act as an underlying set of guidelines for consideration in all Communications Alliance activities and those of industry participants, and is for the information of consumers with a disability. For more information go to the Communications Alliance website.

 

 

Financial hardship happens when you are unable to meet repayment obligations for a service that you're using. Basically, you're finding it hard to pay one or more of your bills.

When people sign up to a plan or service, they're usually confident they'll be able to pay the bill. Unfortunately later, due to an unexpected event or circumstance, they are unable to pay anymore. In other cases, there are those that are unable to afford the bill from the beginning. These situations are all covered by the term 'financial hardship'.

If you find yourself unable to pay you will need to tell your telephone, mobile or internet provider you are experiencing "financial hardship". The company's customer service representative can then offer you the help you need.

 

Our 2016 Conference is all about equipping consumers with the tools they need to get and stay connected to communications services. We have identified three key areas where consumers need better tools. Please share your responses with us on any of the questions below:

  • What legal protections do consumers need to help them get/stay connected?
  • What information needs to be more widely accessible to consumers?
  • How could products be better designed to suit consumer needs?

 

Download: docxUnderstanding your broadband options.docx118.5 KB

Download: pdfUnderstanding your broadband options.pdf383.84 KB

With so many options on the market it can be confusing and challenging to choose a broadband service that suits your business. The information below aims to help you understand the available broadband options for small businesses so you can make the best choice for the operational needs of your business.

What products are available?

The product you choose should be the one that best matches your usage requirements. If your business operates in a single location and only needs the internet for email and a small amount of web browsing, then a standard consumer grade retail plan will be fine. However, if your needs are more complex or you have a high demand for reliable high speed services then it may be worth engaging someone to do a full assessment of your telecommunications needs on a commercial basis.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technologies are the most commonly available broadband connection type in Australia today. DSL enables high speed data transmission over copper wire telephone lines. DSL comes in a range of types according to upload and download data rates, often referred to as the 'speed.' The actual performance will also depend on how long the copper wires are between your premises and the service provider's equipment as well as the quality of those wires.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner Mick Gooda formally launched ACCAN's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) at the ACCAN offices in Sydney on 25 February 2013.

ACCAN developed its RAP to guide our engagement with Indigenous peoples and communities. We hope that a commitment to reconciliation by organisations such as ACCAN can help build an Australian society that values and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.    

Find out how your organisation can begin its own RAP journey with Reconciliation Australia: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/home/reconciliation-action-plans

Download: ACCAN Reconciliation Action Plan 2013 [Word Document - 749 KB]

Download: ACCAN Reconciliation Action Plan 2013 [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 442.67 KB]

What is a Reconciliation Action Plan?

As described by Reconciliation Australia, a Reconciliation Action Plan aims to achieve the following:

  • A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a tool to help your organisation build positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
  • RAPs give you a format for exploring how reconciliation can advance your business's organisational objectives.
  • RAPs are your public contribution towards the national effort to close the 17-year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.
  • A RAP formalises your contribution by encouraging you to identify clear actions and realistic targets, as well as lessons learnt.
  • While each organisation shapes their own RAP, all plans include a creative blend of relationships, respect and opportunities.

To be successful in working towards available, accessible and affordable communications, we need the expertise and support of individuals and organisations who share our goals. Join us!

Becoming a member of ACCAN will not only inform you and equip you to better navigate the communications market, but sharing your experiences and constructive opinions with us helps our work.

From here you can become a member, have a look at the organisations who support us, and access our member only services. 

Membership renewals

Thank you for your encouragement throughout the previous year and your contribution towards a better deal for communications consumers.

If you want to renew:

    1. Please log in from the top right-hand side of this page and new menu options will appear on the left of this page. If you have lost your login details, please contact us on 02 9288 4000. We are familiar with calls using the National Relay Service if you need to use them to contact us.

    2. Select your membership type Individual or Organisational on the left menu and complete your renewal.

      If you have difficulty renewing your membership, or prefer to renew by phone, please contact us on 02 9288 4000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Protecting consumers
The Customer Service Guarantee should be updated to include internet and new reliability measures.

Read more

What is Quickflix?

Quickflix is a video on demand service provider that allows consumers to watch subscription or premium streaming video entertainment online. Key information about this provider includes:

  • Quickflix is one of Australia’s longest established video streaming companies.

  • The video streaming service can consist of either subscription service or a premium pay-as-you-go service.

  • Physical discs, such as Blu-ray and DVD titles, are also available for rent.

How can I join and play videos using Quickflix?

To join Quickflix, you will need a credit or debit card.

  1. Go to the Quickflix website

  2. Select the plan you wish to purchase.

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts.

In addition, searches for Quickflix in Google can reveal bonus offers. There are also offers on the Quickflix site.

To watch Quickflix, you will need a device that is:

  • Connected to the internet

  • Capable of running a web browser or a Quickflix app

Devices can include:

  • Smart TV

  • Game console

  • Streaming media player

  • Smartphone or tablet

  • Desktop or laptop computer

Specific information can be found on the Quickflix Device page.

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How accessible is Quickflix?

According to research conducted by Curtin University, Perth:

  • Closed captions are available on some videos if the distributor provides it.

  • Audio description is not available.

  • The website and apps on devices such as tablets are not entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant, meaning that some users are likely to experience difficulties in finding and playing video content with their assistive technologies.

What tips and tricks can I use to overcome the accessibility barriers on Quickflix?

Here are some tips and tricks provided by consumers that have used Quickflix to maximise your accessibility:

  • Try a different device: consumers have indicated that some platforms may be easier to use with assistive technologies than others. For example, if you are having difficulty with the website, the app on an Android-based tablet or an iOS device such as an iPad may work better with the device’s built-in accessibility features

  • Use physical discs instead: due to Quickflix having limited captioned content and its difficulty in identifying accessible titles, it may be worth exploring Quickflix’s Blu-ray and DVD titles to locate the captioned or audio described movie you are seeking on a physical disc.

Are there more accessible video on demand services available?

There are a number of different subscription video on demand services available to consumers, and these services offer different accessible content. With most services offering some form of free trial, it may be worth testing a service to determine which one works best for you. In addition to this tip sheet, Curtin University has also created tip sheets for Netflix Australia, Stan, Presto and Foxtel Play.

The video I want to play is not accessible. What can I do?

If you are unable to find or play a video due to accessibility issues, there are a number of steps you can take to voice your concerns. Please refer to the Video on Demand Subscription Services: Accessibility and Your Consumer Rights tip sheet created by Curtin University as part of this series or follow the links in the help section below.

Where can I get additional help and information?

For additional help regarding Quickflix, you can go to:

The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

 


Home wireless provides internet at one location using a modem/gateway device with a mobile SIM card. It requires power from a socket in your house. A number of people and devices can connect to the internet through the modem/gateway.

It is important to check that the provider offers coverage at your house!

Young man talking on his phone at the computer

Experiencing Financial Hardship

Welcome to ACCAN’s financial hardship portal. Here you can find useful information about what you can do if you are struggling to pay your bills.

Financial hardship happens when you are unable to meet repayment obligations for services that you’re using.

If you find yourself unable to pay a bill you will need to tell your service provider that you are experiencing financial hardship so that they can help you.

You can also talk to a financial counsellor for free and anonymous help.

Click on ‘How Can I Get Help’ to see the contact details for your service provider, and for more information about financial counsellors.

Centrelink Telephone Allowance

If you have a Pensioner Concession Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, you might be eligible for the Government’s Telephone Allowance, as included in the Pensioner Supplement or Seniors Supplement.

You can read more information about whether you can get the Centrelink Telephone Allowance by clicking here.

Telstra Pensioner Discount

The Telstra Pensioner Discount provides eligible pensioner customers with a monthly call discount on their Telstra home phone service.

If you are eligible for the discount, you can also get free access to Call Control, a waiver on late payment fees, and fee-free payment options.

You can register by calling Telstra on 13 2200.

Telstra Home Phone Essential package

The Telstra Home Phone Essential package is a cheaper home phone plan for eligible Telstra customers.

To be eligible you must hold an eligible Health Care Card or Pension Concession Card.

 

Family using technology

Throughout our lives, we accumulate a variety of assets. In the past, these have traditionally included things such as houses, cars, finances and other tangible possessions. These assets are considered when drawing up a will in the event of our passing.

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The summary below outlines ACCAN's activities from 1 March 2019 – 31 May 2019.

Dark AdsMonash University, Department of Media and Communication Studies

Grant round: 2019

Amount: $49,579

ACCAN magazine Summer 2019

Download: pdfACCAN Magazine Issue 34 Summer 2019985.51 KB

Download accessible version: docxACCAN Magazine Issue 34 Summer 201938.91 KB

Telco Customer Service ChangesCall centres for Telstra, Vodafone, Optus, ALDI Mobile, and some other telcos have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. This means that there is likely to be extended wait times if you contact their customer support teams via phone or instant chat.

TPG has closed their call centre support so you will need to contact them through the online chat support.

Belong have also closed their call centre and are working at a reduced capacity. They have advised it may take over 48 hours to respond to requests for support. More information about supports available is available on their blog.

Dodo are encouraging customers to continue using self-help features however they do have calls operating again, with reduced operating hours. More information is available on Dodo's website.

Telcos have asked customers to use self-service channels (such as the My Optus app, the Telstra 24x7 app, or MyVodafone) to trouble-shoot their issues where possible.

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 [Watch on Youtube: Video will Autoplay. 
Remember: Use Wi-Fi to watch this if you can]

 

Connecting and Troubleshooting Your NBN Home Internet cover image

Once you have chosen an NBN home internet plan, your telco will organise to have your home connected to the NBN.

Getting connected may differ depending on your home and the area you live in.

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Using Your Mobile Phone cover image

Data and internet use

Track your usage

To avoid excess usage charges or running out of data, it’s important to know how much data is included with your phone plan. Once you know your data allowance, you can set a usage limit on your mobile phone. This can be done in your phone’s settings.

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Apps Can TrapAustralian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM)

Grant Round: 2020

Amount: $48,000

In response to consumers experiencing long wait times and other significant customer service issues when contacting their telecommunications providers.

ACCAN commissioned Synergies Economics to develop a model to estimate the cost of consumer time that is spent trying to resolve issues with their telecommunications provider.

To extend this work, ACCAN has commissioned Colmar Brunton to collect data for use in the economic modelling prepared.

ACCAN’s purpose is to work for “communications services that are trusted, inclusive and available for all.” Our Strategic Plan can be viewed at accan.org.au.

In 2021 ACCAN efforts will be focused on the following priority areas, informed by the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on consumers’ use of communications services. At the same time, we will be responsive to emerging issues, and engage with government and industry consultations in areas of significance for telecommunications consumers
.
Our policy priorities are developed in close consultation with ACCAN members, and are informed by our knowledge and analysis of the communications market.

 

Australia’s consumer voice on communications issues, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), has cautioned that consumers may seek alternative home broadband solutions, like 5G, if NBN prices are not addressed.

“As home broadband alternatives like 5G become more accessible in more areas across the country, NBN Co is going to have to demonstrate to cost-conscious consumers why they should choose an NBN service over these alternatives,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. “This means that they’re going to have to provide more competitive wholesale prices if they want to keep customers in these areas.”

Infrastructure Australia recently undertook an industry consultation for its Regional Strengths and Gaps project. ACCAN provided a response to this consultation.

In our response ACCAN highlighted the Wamboin Communications Action Group as a strength in terms of their success in improving connectivity in their area. This group is now providing guidance to other communities across Australia with similar aspirations. Similarly, ACCAN’s Community Consultation Guide provides information to communities to put together a business case for investment via the Mobile Blackspot Program.

Media Reform Green Paper Banner: May 2021Over the last ten years, faster internet speeds have dramatically impacted the way that Australians consume media. Many Australians have switched from free-to-air television (FTA) to subscription video on demand services. These include streaming services like Netflix, Stan, and Kayo and broadcast video on demand (FTA catch-up services, or BVOD). According to the ACMA, 77% of Australian households now have at least one SVOD service, compared to 61% in 20171.

With viewers switching from free-to-air to online content, there have been many questions raised about how the traditional media industry can sustain itself in a world where advertising dollars follow audiences; with less people tuning in to traditional media, these outlets are less attractive to advertisers. Regional newspapers and television channels are also closing because of loss of advertising revenue. To help keep Australia’s media sector alive, the Government needs to find a way to modernise television regulation.

With the expansion in dependency on data services and roll-out of 5G Mobile, the government is also looking at how they manage the limited spectrum used for telecommunications and broadcasting.

To encourage input and debate from interested parties about how the media laws should be changed, the Government released a Green Paper in November 2020 with proposals for new ways to fund Australian media and how it operates.

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Australian Communications Consumer Action Network held an afternoon seminar on 4 November, looking at responsive regulation and effective policy making, and how engagement with consumers can be enhanced to get better results. This forum looked beyond the current, sterile stand-off between consumers on one side and policy makers and regulators on the other to meeting each other’s needs.


All content on this website that is not an external link or externally sourced and cited, is the property of ACCAN. You are free to quote from our media releases.

Individual publications on this website which are labelled as Creative Commons publications are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au. You are free to cite, copy, communicate and adapt this work, so long as you attribute The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and/or any other authors.

If you intend to use ACCAN content please contact us to discuss any licensing restrictions.  ACCAN retains a library of works and design files that may be made available to you to help you with your work.

Consumer Information, such as tip sheets, that are produced solely by ACCAN and distributed on its website are available for use by external parties under the following creative commons licence. 

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License.

ACCAN's Easy English logo is available for use under the following license:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Download: docxAvoiding big charges for 13 number calls48.74 KB

Download: pdfAvoiding big charges for 13 number calls334.99 KB

Some long expiry pre-paid and pay as you go mobile plans charge for 13 number calls by the minute. These plans may not be good value if you often call 13 numbers and you may find your credit gets used up quickly.

Here are some plans that charge for 13 number calls by duration (note: there may be other plans on the market that charge for these calls as well):

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Subcategories

Picture showing map of Australia and voting box exclaiming 'What communications consumers need to know for the Federal Election 2016'Do you:

Have a mobile phone? 
Use broadband? 
Watch television? 
Stream online content?

If you answer yes to any of these questions then
ACCAN’s Federal Election 2016 webpage is for you.

As the peak body for consumer representation in communications ACCAN – Australian Communications Consumer Action Network – represents your interests to get the best deal for consumers.

For the upcoming Federal Election on 2 July we have identified five communications consumer priorities for 2016. These important issues are our focus in the lead up to and after the election. See below for these priorities.

To find out more about their communications policies, we have posed a series of questions to the major political parties. When the answers are available we will post them on this webpage.

You can read further on our communications consumer priorities by clicking the links below or on the left-hand side of the screen. Get in touch with ACCAN if you have any questions on these topics.

 

Banner image for ACCAN Events picturing ACCAN CEO and industry representatives taking part in a consultative forum.

As part of our commitment to community and industry consultation, ACCAN runs and attends a number of events each year.  Our current and upcoming events are profiled on this page.  ACCAN encourages its Members to profile their communications events through our website.

If you would like any further information regarding our events, or to include your event on our site, please contact us.

You can see the transcripts and speakers' presentations from ACCANect 2019: Communications + Consumers: The next ten years on the conference event page.  If you are looking for information regarding past events it can be found in the events archive.

Welcome

ACCAN works towards achieving communications services that are trusted, inclusive, and available for all.

With this aim, the ACCAN Grants Program funds projects to enable research on telecommunications issues, represent telecommunications consumers, or create educational tools which empower consumers to understand telecommunications products and services and make decisions in their own interests.

On the following pages you will find all the information you need to decide if your project idea is eligible for an ACCAN Grant, and how to apply. 

To be eligible, projects must address systemic telecommunications consumer issues. Have a browse through the list of previous ACCAN grants recipients and current projects to get a feel for the type of work the Program funds.

Welcome to the ACCAN employment page.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, ACCAN, a not-for-profit organisation, maintains an accessible work environment and encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, persons with disabilities and people from culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse backgrounds.

ACCAN is Australia’s peak body representing the interests of all consumers in communications issues. ACCAN is an important and independent consumer voice promoting the accessibility, quality of service, affordability and availability of communications services for all Australian consumers with particular concern for vulnerable consumers whose needs are underrepresented.

  • High profile consumer body
  • Communications industry
  • Diverse, interesting role working in vibrant NGO
  • Supportive work environment
  • Sydney CBD location with easy access to public transport


The quarterly ACCAN members magazine casts a spotlight on our most recent work, discusses current trends and contains exclusive interviews with a broad range of players in the telecommunications sector. If you'd like to start receiving your own hard copy of the ACCAN magazine, simply sign up to become an ACCAN member today.

Our collection of past ACCAN members magazines are available to download below.

 

Media Releases

ACCAN's work informs public debate about consumer issues in the communications landscape.  Welcome to our collection of the latest news and current affairs that impact communications consumers. 

Sign up for ACCAN's weekly newsletter to have these news items emailed to you each week.

Media enquiries:
Mobile: 0409 966 931 (calls only, no texts please)
Phone: 02 9288 4000
media (at) accan.org.au

 

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Hot Issues

Welcome to the latest current affairs that impact communications consumers. 

Sign up for ACCAN's weekly newsletter to have these news items sent to your email address each week.

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There's no doubt communications are essential to our daily lives but with technology moving fast, sometimes it's hard to keep up!

We produce a range of tip sheets that provide simple tips and tricks to help with a range of common telecommunications issues.