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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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As Australia’s consumer voice on phone and internet issues, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed NBN Co’s recently announced Wholesale Pricing Review Consultation Paper.

ACCAN has strongly championed the need for affordable home broadband in Australia. High-cost broadband services make accessing important education, employment, health and government services very difficult for our communities.

NRS tender outcomeThe Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) welcomes the Federal Government’s appointment of a service provider for the National Relay Service (NRS).

The NRS allows Australians who are Deaf or have hearing or speech impairment to access telecommunications services through the phone, web or teletypewriter (TTY). It is a vital service that allows its users to communicate for work, socially, and in emergencies.

“All Australians deserve the right to reliable communications whether they access it through traditional telco technology or through the NRS,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) welcomes the appointment of the Hon Paul Fletcher to the position of Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts in the newly announced Coalition Cabinet.


“The next three years will bring a number of important milestones, challenges and opportunities for telecommunications in Australia,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. “From the roll-out of 5G, to the anticipated completion of the NBN network, we look forward to working with Minister Fletcher during this exciting time to achieve better outcomes for consumers.”

A new report released today by Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), shows that telco customer service representatives are being encouraged to focus on selling over service, potentially exposing consumers to questionable selling practices.


The Spotlight on Telco Commissions and Targets exploratory report was commissioned following a number of troubling stories that ACCAN had received from consumers who were sold plans or products that were more expensive than they had expected or that were beyond their means.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed action by the Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) against Telstra, Optus and Vodafone who neglected their responsibility to provide people with disability with information about products and services that may meet their needs.

The ACMA’s formal warning comes five years after ACCAN first identified that these telcos were failing to provide appropriate information to people with disability during a mystery shopping research project. The consumer group engaged with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to discuss the poor outcomes from this research and suggest possible pathways to improve. However, in 2016 a second round of mystery shopping proved that little had been done to implement these improvements.

 

The announcement of $220 million in funding for regional communications has been celebrated today by the Regional, Rural and Remote Communication Coalition (RRRCC) as a win for bush communications across the country.

The significant funding announcement from the Government accompanies their response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review.

The Rural Regional and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC) welcomes today’s announcement from the Minister for Regional Services Senator Bridget McKenzie which will see regional Australians benefit from 180 new mobile base stations as part of Round 4 of the Mobile Black Spot Program.

 

For Australians living in rural, regional and remote communities, having access to reliable communications is vital. The Mobile Black Spot Program has been instrumental in making real change to these communities, with more than 1,000 mobile base stations designated to be built, expanding mobile coverage across the regions.

The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC) welcomed this morning’s announcement from Telstra about a program of works it is undertaking to bolster landline services in regional, rural and remote Australia.

Telstra’s announcement addresses some of the issues around reliability of landline services identified in the November 2018 report of the Regional Telecommunications Review, such as extended faults and repair times for some Telstra customers in regional, rural and remote Australia.

Accessible Broadband allows all Australians to connect to essential government servicesA new affordable home broadband product for financially stressed Australians on low incomes should be a key priority for political parties ahead of the 2019 Federal election, according to consumer organisation ACCAN.

Australia’s peak body representing telecommunications consumers, ACCAN, is urging the nation’s political parties to consider a proposal for a wholesale broadband concession that would provide financially stressed Australians with cheaper home broadband.

ACCAN considers that a 50 mbps unlimited broadband service offered at a wholesale price of $20 per month by NBN Co to households receiving government financial support to be the most effective way to achieve affordable broadband for all. This would mean eligible households would pay approximately $30 per month for unlimited broadband – almost halving the current average cost.

Initial estimates indicate that providing this concession to the 1 million plus households on the lowest incomes can be budget neutral.

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