Issue No 34: 2 December 2015



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Industry Welcomes Government Move to Facilitate an Industry-Based Scheme to Manage Telephone Numbering

Sydney, 2 December 2015 - Communications Alliance today welcomed the introduction to Federal Parliament of legislation that paves the way for a transition to an industry-managed telephone numbering management framework in Australia.

The Communications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation and Other Measures) Bill 2015 and consequent legislation would create a ‘heads of power’ that – subject to conditions being met – can be used to move the management of numbering away from the regulator and into the hands of industry.

“This is a sensible deregulatory reform, toward which industry has been working with Government for some time,” Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said today.

“Similar arrangements have worked well in other countries, generating more agile, cost-effective and dynamic systems for managing numbering – to the benefit of consumers and industry alike.”

“Communications Alliance and its members are working on the detail of how an industry-managed scheme should best be structured and operated."

“When this work is completed in the near future we will release a detailed proposal and undertake consultation with all interested stakeholders, to help finalise the proposition.”

Mr Stanton commended the Minister for Communications & the Arts, Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield and his Department for bringing forward the platform for the reform. He particularly acknowledged the valuable collaborative work undertaken with industry by the former Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, (and now Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government) the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP, to formulate the original proposal.

Internet of Things Workstreams Underway – Chairs Appointed

High-profile Chairpersons have been appointed this week to the first two of six multi-partite workstreams arising from the Communications Alliance IoT Think Tank initiative.

The two workstreams already underway are:

Workstream 1: Tasked with developing a coherent, collaborative and globally aware Australian IoT community, to enable IoT in Australia and to drive productivity and innovation aligned with national economic interests. The group, to which more than 20 experts from multiple disciplines have already signed up, met on Monday to develop its Terms of Reference and elected Mr Chris McLaren – National Sector Leader for Technology, Media and Telecommunications at KPMG – as its Chair.

Workstream 3: Tasked with developing IoT open data and data sharing principles, as well as privacy guidelines for use of IoT data, met on Tuesday in similar vein and elected industry/legal veteran, Mr Peter Leonard – who heads Gilbert and Tobin’s Communications, Media and Data Protection practice – as its Chair.

Workstream 6, which will look at how to effectively facilitate IoT Start Ups, will meet for the first time later this week.

The workstreams flow out of the recommendations of the research report “Enabling the IoT for Australia” commissioned by the Think Tank and written by research firm Creator Tech.

“We have already signed up more than 100 experts from industry, Government, Regulators, industry associations and other stakeholder groups to contribute to the workstreams – and are looking to further broaden the coalition needed to complete this important work,” said Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton.

“There is a widespread recognition that ensuring Australia can enable, not inhibit the development of IoT needs to be part of the national innovation agenda and it is gratifying to see the participation and momentum that the project is engendering.”

Individuals or organisations interested in participating in the project are welcome to contact info@commsalliance.com.au.

The remaining three workstreams, to commence their work early in 2016, will examine:

  • Workstream 2: Sectoral Engagement;
  • Workstresam 4: Spectrum Availability; and
  • Workstream 5: Security Issues

Revised Telecommunications Consumer Protection Compliance Framework released for public comment

Sydney, 26 November 2015 – Communications Alliance today released for public comment a series of proposed revisions to Chapter 9 of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code. This chapter describes the Code Compliance Monitoring Framework of the TCP Code.

The proposed amendments to Chapter 9 of the TCP Code seek to build upon the success of the current Code Compliance provisions – which have contributed to a reduction of more than 35% in complaints to the industry ombudsman in the past three years

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said that the proposed TCP Code Chapter 9 sought an appropriate balance between accountability and flexibility for Suppliers.

“The TCP Code Compliance Framework has been successful, as evidenced by the increase in attestations received by CommCom (the body set up by industry to monitor compliance with the TCP Code), as well as the continued drop in TIO Complaints. The proposed amendments seek to reinforce the accountability on Suppliers to comply with the Code, while recognising that the complexity of systems and processes within telcos will vary according to size and customer base”.

The proposed amendments seek to provide additional flexibility for smaller service providers in meeting their obligations under the TCP Code by introducing an additional window to submit lodgement documentation to CommCom. Further, Small Suppliers will be required to attest that their processes and systems are compliant with the TCP Code, but without needing to develop a Compliance Plan in accordance with the Australian Standard.

The proposed amendments also introduce a requirement for Suppliers bound by the TCP Code to register with Communications Alliance. Suppliers will also, for the first time, be able to attest Partial Compliance with the TCP Code. Partial attestations must be submitted alongside a Compliance Achievement Plan in which the Supplier must identify gaps in compliance and a plan to achieve full compliance.

The draft Code amendments can be downloaded from the Drafts for Public Comment page along with further information on how to submit comments.

In line with legislated requirements for Codes, the public comment period will run until 30 December

Review of ‘Fibre Ready’ Pit and Pipe Specification

Communications Alliance invites comments for a review of the Fibre Ready Pit and Pipe Specification for Real Estate Development Projects Guideline (G645:2011). The Guideline is designed to:

  • outline the minimum standard for Telecommunications pit and pipe installation within a Real Estate Development Project to be considered a Fibre Ready Facility;
  • describe recommended processes for the design and installation of pit and pipe facilities for use in the deployment of Optical Fibre Lines in a Real Estate Development Project; and
  • describe the recommended materials used in the design and installation of pit and pipe facilities.

The aim of the review is to identify:

  • any existing issues with the Guideline;
  • whether any process improvement is required, from operational experience in dealing with the Guideline;
  • any gaps in the Guideline;
  • clarifications that improve requirements;
  • whether the Guideline is meeting the needs of industry satisfactorily; and
  • expected impacts of technology changes.

It is anticipated that there is a need to revise the document because received feedback over the years since publication has identified some parts of the document that can be improved. This means that a simple reconfirmation of the guideline is unlikely. The continuing relevance and use of the guideline by industry means that withdrawal is also unlikely.

The scheduled review of G645:2011 has been brought forward to also consider what, if any, changes might be necessary in light of the recent update by nbn™ of its similar publication:

  • New Developments: Deployment of the nbn Conduit & Pit Network NBN-TE-CTO-194 (.pdf, 1470KB); and the related
  • Frequently Asked Questions - New Developments: Deployment of the nbn Conduit and Pit Network Guideline NBN-TE-CTO-194 (.pdf, 351KB).

All submissions are due before 5 P.M. AEDT on MONDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2015.

You can use the Submit Comments form to submit your comments via email or go to the Contact Us webpage to obtain other contact methods.

Welcome Rene Sugo to the Communications Alliance Board of Directors

Rene Sugo is the CEO and co-founder of MNF Group (ASX:MNF), a telecommunications software and network provider with a portfolio of brands spanning all levels of the industry. Founded in 2004, MNF Group operates the largest VoIP network in Australia, and one of only 5 fully interconnected national voice networks. Mr Sugo also sits on the MNF Group’s Board of Directors.

Rene brings to the table a technical acumen of 20 years of telecommunications industry experience and a deep commitment to bringing the Australian telecommunications industry into the digital age.

Not willing to abide by the status quo, Rene has long questioned established standards, advocated for change to promote competition and take the telecommunications industry into the new digital age. 

Rene will bring this commitment to Communications Alliance, with a vision for a new era of fair competition and innovation in the Australian telecommunications industry.

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