In a speech at the CommsDay Melbourne Congress 2015, ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin, spoke about the organisation's Policy Priorities for 2015-16. The priorities cover a range of consumer issues and relate to ACCAN's three core focus areas - affordable, available and accessible communications products and services for all Australians. The complete Policy Priorities are available on ACCAN's website.

As an organisation, ACCAN represents all residential consumers and small businesses, including not-for-profit organisations. Each policy priority aims to address a segment of the market that is not working for a group/s within Australia.

ACCAN's 2015-16 policy priorities are:

  • Better communications services for poorly served areas
  • Improved accessibility of websites, apps and online and broadcast content
  • Future consumer protections and universal communications services
  • Improved affordability of services for low income consumers
  • Fair access to content
  • Improved consumer decision making

"ACCAN is committed to achieving these policy outcomes for consumers to ensure that all Australians have access to affordable, available and accessible communications services," said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. "We will work closely with the relevant stakeholders and our members to secure better communications services for poorly served areas."

The launch of nbn's satellite, Sky Muster, brought broadband availability issues into the mainstream. The continued rollout of the NBN and also the Mobile Black Spot Programme will benefit consumers. However, some in poorly served areas still have a long wait ahead of them before services become more available.

Improved accessibility of websites, apps and online and broadcast content are further priorities. Earlier this year we welcomed an audio description trial on ABC iview and Netflix's introduction of audio description for some of its original content. In the coming year we'll be supporting the push to introduce audio description on free-to-air television as well as initiatives to improve captioning on YouTube videos and television.

"Our focus on the Universal Service Obligation, Customer Service Guarantee and other consumer protections will also continue over the next year," added Ms Corbin. "Consumer protections are needed for the effective delivery of essential communications services."

"ACCAN's 2015 Conference, Dollars and Bytes – Communications affordability now and tomorrow, started a conversation around the affordability of communications services. Our work in this area is just beginning with many actions and outcomes arising from the event. We look forward to working with stakeholders to explore solutions to close the 'affordability divide.'"

For more information, contact Luke Sutton on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0409 966 931.

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