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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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is pleased to have been named as a successful recipient in the auDA Foundation 2021 Grants Program.

The auDA Foundation has awarded grants to 15 organisations for education and research initiatives that enhance the utility of the Internet for Australians across three key areas:

  • Digital inclusion (with an emphasis on First Nations peoples)
  •  Cyber security for small business
  • Internet access for young Australians

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed the ACMA’s action against Telstra for breaching consumer privacy rules related to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND).

“It is vital that consumer information stored in the IPND is accurate and secure. Emergency services use the IPND, as well as a range of other information, to locate people calling for assistance,” said ACCAN Acting CEO Andrew Williams.”

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) Indigenous Steering Committee has called for investments in First Nations co-designed local solutions and dedicated funding for more digital skills training in a submission to the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA)’s Indigenous Digital Inclusion Plan Discussion Paper.

Established after ACCAN’s 2021 Indigenous Advisory Forum, the Indigenous Steering Committee guides ACCAN’s work so that it is genuinely representative of the interests of First Nations peoples.

New research from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has revealed that almost three in four Australians agree that it needs to be easier to make a complaint and to get their issues resolved when dealing with digital platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, eBay, and Service NSW.

A nationally representative survey of 1,000 Australians conducted by the peak body for communications consumers using Ipsos’ Digital Omnibus online survey found that 74% of respondents think that it needs to be easier for people to make a complaint, and 78% think that it needs to be easier for people to get their issues resolved on digital platforms. Digital platforms were defined as websites and apps such as social media, Government online services, job search sites, dating apps, messaging apps and online marketplaces. ACCAN’s polling also shows that 60% of Australians feel there’s not much they can do when something goes wrong online. 

Households struggling with the cost of connectivity would benefit from the introduction of new rules that would make it mandatory for telcos to offer a low-income product, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN). The recommendation for new regulatory requirements comes as the peak body for communications consumers releases new research which examines the effectiveness of the telecommunication industry’s programs and offers aimed at assisting people on low incomes to stay connected.

Further investments to promote greater choice and availability for mobile phone users as well as improving the reliability and affordability of telecommunications services are vital to ensuring regional Australians are guaranteed access to essential telecommunications services, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

The recommendations come from the peak body for communications consumers’ submission to the 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review. This triannual process examines the telecommunications landscape in regional, rural, and remote Australia to identify paths for improvement.  

ACCAN welcomes the news of the launch of DIGI’s Misinformation and Disinformation Complaints Portal, which implements the commitments made by signatories to the Australian Disinformation and Misinformation Code of Practice.

While the Complaints Portal represents a step in the right direction for limiting the spread of mis- and disinformation on digital platforms, we do have some concerns however regarding the accessibility of the Complaints Portal for consumers.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed an overall fall in complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), however, raised concerns that small businesses may be suffering as complaint levels from the sector reach a three year high.

Complaint data published today in the TIO’s Annual Report 2020-2021 shows that complaints about phone and internet services fell 6.1% in the last financial year. Among these 119,400 complaints, the TIO identified 19,689 complaints from small businesses, the highest volume of small business complaints in the last three years. Concerningly, complaints from small businesses about no or delayed action increased by 28.2% from 2019-2020, failure to cancel a service increased by 67.6% and provider uncontactable increased by 181%.

“Phone and internet services have never been more essential for people in Australia, with much of the country working and learning from home during rolling lockdowns throughout the last financial year,” said ACCAN Deputy CEO Andrew Williams. “While it’s positive to see that the overall level of complaints has fallen, we can’t lose sight of the fact that over 100,000 people have had to escalate a phone or internet problem to the TIO because they weren’t able to have their problem resolved by their telco.”

Released today, the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan is a valuable roadmap for government, regulators, and the telecommunications industry for achieving communications services that are trusted, inclusive, obtainable, and available for all, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

The report by the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor, Infrastructure Australia, outlines key recommendations to Australia’s infrastructure sector that aim to drive economic growth, maintain and enhance the standard of living in Australia, and improve the resilience and sustainability of essential infrastructure.

“As the voice for communications consumers, ACCAN was very proud to partner with Infrastructure Australia on the development of the Telecommunications and digital chapter within the 2021 report,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin.

The board of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) today announces that ACCAN’s CEO of 11 years, Teresa Corbin, will be leaving at the end of October 2021 to take up an exciting new career opportunity.

Deirdre O’Donnell, ACCAN Chairperson said, “Teresa’s time as leader of ACCAN has been of enormous importance to our organisation in broadening its impact and its influence - always in the best interests of all consumers - on the Australian telecommunications industry. We know her legacy is a significant one, and we look forward to celebrating her many achievements at an appropriate time later this year.”

Ms O’Donnell added, “The board is confident that ACCAN as an organisation is in a wonderful position thanks to Teresa’s leadership. The ACCAN board will initiate recruitment for our next CEO in the months ahead. We are very pleased that from November Andrew Williams, ACCAN’s Deputy CEO will step up as acting CEO.

With millions of Australians facing extended lockdowns, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has called on NBN Co to fast-track the introduction of a low-income product to allow struggling households to work and learn remotely.

The call to action comes as part of the consumer advocacy group’s submission to NBN Co’s Special Access Undertaking Variation 2021 Discussion Paper.

“Communities in New South Wales are now entering their sixth week of lockdown. For those in Greater Sydney, that has meant homes have had to double as offices and classrooms for millions of Australians,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin.

“The sad reality is that not everyone has access to a reliable broadband connection at home. Some households have had to try and support simultaneous work meetings and online education from a single slow hotspot from a mobile phone, while others have been unable to learn online at all.”

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has promoted veteran executive Andrew Williams to Deputy Chief Executive Officer and human rights specialist Meredith Lea to Policy Manager, as part of the organisation’s investment in a growing leadership team.

ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin said the promotions recognised the important role that the pair have played in advancing ACCAN’s work towards ensuring communications services are trusted, inclusive, accessible, and available for all.