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Welcome to the latest current affairs that impact communications consumers. 

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The ACCAN Annual General Meeting was held in Sydney on Wednesday, 17 September, 2014. At the meeting the following three candidates were elected to the Board:

  • Johanna Plante
  • Nigel Waters
  • Victoria Rubensohn

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With Optus and Vodafone losing customers to Telstra and the arrival of the iPhone 6 there is a price war brewing in telco land. As the dust settles on the opening barrage we'll sift through the rubble and see if there are any good deals to be had.

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ACCAN has recently received reports from members about an increase in unwanted telemarketing calls, as well as outright telemarketing scams. In a welcome move, Telstra has issued a media release reminding customers across Australia to beware of scammers who attempt to obtain their personal information via telephone. In the past 12 months customer comments regarding these calls have increased four-fold.

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A reminder to ACCAN members that nominations for Directors to fill three vacancies on the ACCAN Board close at 5pm on Friday 15th August 2014.

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Last Friday news website Crikey! reported on the federal government’s leaked draft discussion paper on tackling online copyright infringement.

The paper has two main policy proposals. The first is to make it easier for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to be held liable for authorising copyright infringement, making them more responsible for policing the activity of their customers.

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As you may have heard, the first part of the independent cost-benefit analysis of broadband and review of regulation – also known as the Vertigan Review – has been released by the Government.

Satisfaction with NBN Reforms
The Review Panel has taken a moderate approach to the issues, finding a high level of satisfaction generally among the communications industry and stakeholders with the NBN reforms. The Panel itself backs this positive assessment. The Panel concludes that on the whole, "the broad framework should be retained largely unchanged for the time being" with some specific exceptions.

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Research released by ACMA yesterday found that one-third (32 per cent) of Australian mobile users have in the past year wanted to make a 13/1300 call from their mobile but not done so because of concern about call costs.

ACCAN remains concerned about the affordability of calling a 13/1300 number from a mobile.

We are yet to be convinced that the industry proposal to charge 13 numbers for the ‘included value’ of a mobile plan will turn around this alarming figure on 13 call affordability," said ACCAN Deputy CEO, Narelle Clark.

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Have you ever found yourself unable to sign-up for an online service, unable to order tickets online or contact an organisation because they have an inaccessible CAPTCHA on their website? CAPTCHA tests are boxes containing squiggly letters and numbers which you must decipher in order to continue on a website.

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Summary: If you haven't already heard, a potentially catastrophic internet security flaw has been discovered this week and there are some serious ramifications for consumers.

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

Find resouces on political party policies, election issues and more.