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. 

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Australia’s peak communications consumer advocacy group, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), has today announced 7 projects that it will fund through the 2023 Round of its Independent Grants Program.

The ACCAN Independent Grants Program funds consumer-focused projects to undertake research, represent consumers, and create educational tools which empower consumers to make decisions in their own interests.

The operation of ACCAN’s Independent Grant Program is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

ACCAN welcomes the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) report Financial hardship in the telco sector released today. The ACMA's findings align with ACCAN research conducted earlier this year which shows that cost of living pressures are having a significant impact, with some consumers continuing to struggle to pay their telco bills.

“Cost of living issues aren’t going away for the foreseeable future, so it’s particularly concerning that over 40% of the Australian adult population are unaware that they can contact their telco provider for help managing their bills.  This research shows that it is imperative that financial hardship policies are promoted by telcos and made easily accessible on their websites,” said ACCAN CEO, Andrew Williams.

At its March meeting the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network’s (ACCAN) Board of Directors unanimously endorsed the organisation’s support of the Voice to Parliament.

A Voice to Parliament aligns with ACCAN’s vision of communications services that are trusted, inclusive, accessible, and available for all.

With the cost-of-living front of mind for most Australians, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is urging the federal government to develop an easy to use, independent and free comparison tool to help consumers navigate the often-complicated telecommunications market.

Currently, it is difficult for consumers to find information about different products, services, and plans available to them. The establishment of an Independent Plan Comparison Tool (IPCT) will provide consumers with key product and price information for telecommunications services, allowing them to select a service offering that best meets their needs. 

Recent research conducted by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has found that direct debit is a problem for some consumers, particularly for those who are living week to week.

A thriving and competitive communications market is characterised by a variety of free payment options that reflect consumer preferences for payment. However, some payment options may place unfair financial risk on consumers.

Households are increasingly feeling the impact of higher costs of living. New research by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), conducted in March, has revealed a fifth of consumers reporting that they missed a payment for a phone or internet service because they could not afford it.

Among those that were surveyed, of those responsible for paying telco bills in their household, 38% experienced phone and internet payment problems in the last 2 years. Over a quarter (26%) of the 1000 consumers surveyed regarded their phone and internet costs as unaffordable.

The Australian Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is calling for the development of a retail registration scheme for telco providers which will give the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) greater visibility over the industry.

ACCAN wants to see the creation of an up-to-date register of providers, to improve the visibility of market participants. Creation of a register will benefit consumers, regulators and services providing by providing a trusted and central source of information that consumers can use to contact their telco.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of a trial which will give up to 10,000 regional Australians on NBN Sky Muster Plus access to unmetered monthly data allowances and faster speeds in a bid to boost internet quality in the bush.

Beginning in March and running through to May this year, the trial aims to deliver faster download speeds of up to 100 Mbps for regional customers. Faster satellite services without data allowances is very good news for households and small businesses in regional and remote Australia.

ACCAN endorses the position taken by the Consumer Action Law Centre in calling for tougher penalties for Telcos following the ACMA disciplinary action against Telstra for breaching financial hardship rules.

View the Consumer Action Law Centre Media Release

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has bid farewell to Chairperson Deirdre O’Donnell, who stood down as Chair and ACCAN Director at its November Board meeting. Deirdre has held the position since November 2017 and has guided the organisation through a period of substantive change in that time.

“It’s been a real privilege to have been Chair of the ACCAN Board for the last five years, and to have worked alongside a group of talented and committed directors dedicated to governing ACCAN in line with its mission.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is proud to support Scams Awareness Week (7–11 November 2022).

Scams Awareness Week is an annual campaign hosted by the ACCC and the Scams Awareness Network, which raises awareness about common scams and offers tips on how people can protect themselves from scammers. This year Scams Awareness Week is about empowering people to learn how to spot a scam and encouraging them to take the time to check whether a communication or offer is real.

In light of rapid increases to the cost of living, the peak body for communications consumers has welcomed new measures announced in this week’s federal budget to improve the affordability of communications services and boost digital inclusion across the nation. The announcements echo calls made by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) to establish a concessional broadband product for households on low incomes.