Hot Issues

Welcome to the latest current affairs that impact communications consumers. 

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A young girl sitting on the floor, using an iPhone.

According to the eSafety Commissioner, 26% of kids and 75% of teens are using Facebook, and 24% of kids and 70% of teens are on Instagram. The stats are similar across various other social media sites and digital platforms, particularly as we’re seeing social media become the main form of communication for young people. 

With more and more children using social media as their main form of communication, it’s important to consider what parents can do to keep them safe online. 

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Spam text messages are unsolicited (and often unwanted) texts that are sent to try and get you to disclose personal details. People sending spam texts will usually try to access your bank details or passwords or will get you to click on a potentially dangerous link. Giving up this information can expose you to the risk of identity theft or being defrauded. It can also mean that scammers can access your device to install malware (malicious software). 

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NetThing 2021 Speech by ACCAN Acting CEO – Andrew Williams


- CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY –

Building trust is a slow process. One that takes time, ongoing effort, and maintenance.

Conversely, losing trust can happen in an instant. One bad call, one misstep, and years of cultivating trust can be in jeopardy.

According to the 2021 Edelman Australia Trust Barometer, social media companies are the least trusted of all industries, falling well behind telecommunications, and even financial services.

The 2021 report shows that technology companies were the only industry to lose trust from 2020-2021, rather than gain it from Australians.
As the consumer voice for communications consumers, these statistics are not shocking or surprising to ACCAN.

We engage with consumers and advocates daily who express concern about a wide range of issues from misinformation spreading online that impacts their communities, to cyber abuse, to being unaware of their rights when using digital platforms.

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An image of a home office set up, along with a desktop computer, a laptop and a mouse. Working from home has become an environment that many of us have become familiar with recently. However, home offices often aren’t set up as effectively as usual places of work. This means you may
not be able to guarantee access to the internet all the time, or that you may not have the speeds you need to work efficiently. Below are some steps you can take to ensure that you have the best possible working from home set up.

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Someone is scrolling through photos on an Apple iPhone, placed on a table next to a cup of coffee

The rapid evolution of technology has meant that mobile phones aren’t just used to make calls anymore. The addition of features like cameras, digital wallets and high-resolution screen displays means that we can use our devices for so much more than just calling and texting.

It’s always exciting when we get to see what new features are being incorporated into the latest mobile devices. However, you don’t necessarily need to buy a new mobile phone every time a new product is released.

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ACCAN logo

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the ACCAN will be held via virtual meeting, on Thursday 16th September 2021 from 4.00pm.

ACCAN AGM

Date: Thursday 16th September 2021.

Time: 4:00pm (AEST)

Venue: Virtual Meeting via Zoom – Please register from here by 14th September 2021

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ACCAN is seeking nominations for Directors to fill three (3) vacancies on its Board.

In accordance with the ACCAN Constitution, the 2021-2022 ACCAN Board will consist of nine (9) members1. Six (6) positions are continuing Directors from the 2020-2021 Board. Three (3) Directors are retiring from the Board but may be eligible for re-election as stated in the ACCAN Constitution.

In accordance with the ACCAN Constitution Board members are elected for a three year term.

In order to ensure an appropriate balance, the Board is particularly seeking candidates with legal and regulatory expertise; and/or experience in financial management and governance in a not for profit organisation; and/or from an Indigenous background or with strong linkages to Indigenous communities.

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Image shows three children using various devices, including an iPad and a smart phone

 With parts of the nation remaining in lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19, many people have turned to streaming services to keep entertained with a new TV series or movie, or tuned in to see Australia compete for gold in the Olympics. With more time spent streaming, the ever-so-painful experiences of long buffering times, low resolution displays, or unexpectedly high data usage are becoming more and more common. The good news is that there are several steps that consumers can take when using streaming services to ensure the best possible experience.

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Grants Program Banner: Woman researching at a University

Exploring the handling of complaints against digital platforms, examining the performance of telco customer service chatbots, and assessing the surveillance risks of Family Plans for victims of domestic and family violence will be the focus of some of the important projects receiving funding through the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)’s 2021 Grants program.

The ACCAN Grants Program funds projects which undertake research on telecommunications issues, represent consumers or create educational tools which empower consumers to derive the greatest benefit from telecommunications products and services.

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Image description: three people sit on a lounge, looking at a laptop computer

ACCAN wants to hear about your experience with your ADSL internet service.

ADSL stands for ‘asymmetric digital subscriber line’. ADSL is a broadband internet connection delivered through the same copper wiring that your home phone may use. The ACCC are soon to begin an inquiry into whether Telstra should continue to provide access to wholesale ADSL services on request. The outcome of the ACCC inquiry could impact price and retail choice of ADSL services for regional, rural and remote consumers.

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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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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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