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Issue No 30: 20 November 2017


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Communications Alliance Awards Norton Family Premier Accreditation as part of Renewed Family Friendly Filter Program

Communications Alliance’s Family Friendly Filter program has certified Norton Family Premier as the first product to receive an accreditation since February 2015.

Powered by Norton by Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC), Norton Family Premier is a user-friendly tool that gives parents a window into the online lives of children by monitoring usage, what they are sharing and time spent online. The software encourages healthy web browsing habits and opens up discussions at home about appropriate rules & conduct, essentially helping educate tomorrow’s generation about good digital citizenship.

Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said: “We are excited to have Norton Family Premier as an accredited filter, and hope this will be the first of many to join our recently revitalised program.”

“Norton Family Premier has passed a rigorous certification process in order to demonstrate that it provides a high level of assurance to parents looking to protect their families from exposure to unwanted or potentially harmful Internet content.”

Mark Gorrie, director, Norton Business Unit, Pacific Region added, “Norton Family Premier has, for a long time, been helping parents all over the world give their children the chance to learn, explore and enjoy their digital lives more safely. This accreditation publically recognises the dependable security and peace of mind Norton Family Premier has been giving parents for years and is testament to the robust nature of the tool.”

He went on to say, “We are very proud to be the first brand to be accredited as part of the Family Friendly Filter Program and will continue to work with Communications Alliance to ensure a secure Internet for all. ”

To qualify for Family Friendly Filter status and be listed on the Communications Alliance page, a filter must undergo comprehensive independent testing, undertaken by Enex TestLab. To qualify, products must meet criteria including effectiveness, ease of use, configurability, and availability of support.

“The Family Friendly Filter program provides families with an easily accessible list of filters they can consider for their needs,” Mr Stanton said.

“The majority of residential internet service providers have agreed to provide their customers with information on Family Friendly Filters, and we look forward to expanding the program in the coming year to provide families with a range of options.”

Norton Family Premier is available from au.norton.com or can be purchased as part of the Norton Security Premium suite online or at good electronics retailers.

Communications Alliance and Enex TestLab are seeking additional filter providers for certification. If you are interested, please contact Enex TestLab at (03) 9436 7454 or enquiries@testlab.com.au


Better Broadband Performance to Flow from New Industry Code

A milestone new industry code designed to improve the performance of next-generation broadband systems in Australia – including NBN-based services, has been released today for public comment.

The Communications Alliance draft code -  C658:2017 Next-Generation Broadband Systems Deployment in Customer Cabling here – has a number of important objectives that will improve the consumer experience of Australians using next generation and legacy broadband services.

These include:

  • minimising performance-draining interference between multiple telecommunications systems that are deployed alongside one another;
  • protecting the performance of legacy systems such as ADSL2+ during the 18-month ‘coexistence period’ – i.e. the transition period that occurs in each roll-out area, when legacy systems and NBN-based services are both in play, until the legacy services are eventually switched off;
  • fostering greater competition in the deployment of next generation services by telecommunications carriers and service providers;
  • ensuring minimum performance levels for certain next generation systems; and
  • paving the way for technology upgrades such as nbn’s planned introduction of a new high-speed technology known as G.fast.

Communications Alliance intends to submit the code, after consultation and further revision to the industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for consideration for registration.

Once registered, industry compliance with the code’s deployment rules and other provisions can be enforced by the ACMA.

The draft code has been created by a Communications Alliance working committee of industry experts, led by Peter Cooke from Telstra.

The code will require companies that are deploying next generation systems to cooperate in good faith, in particular by managing the power levels on the deployed services so as to avoid interfering with other nearby services.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, praised the effort of the Working Committee.

“Industry has come together to tackle some very complex technical issues and provide solutions that will benefit Australian communications consumers, both during the 18-month co-existence period and over the longer term,

“The code will help ensure that the Government’s performance goals for NBN-based services will be met, while also facilitating greater competition and paving a smoother transition to future services.”

As one practical example, in an apartment block that has fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) technology in place from one provider, but also has fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) services from a different provider, the two systems will share the available spectrum, with the longer FTTN cable runs using lower spectrum and the shorter in-building cable runs using higher spectrum.

“Without such coordination there is a high likelihood that the two systems will interfere with one another – degrading the service performance for all customers,” Mr Stanton said.

The draft code will remain open for public comment for 35 days. The Working Committee will consider all comments received and make any further necessary amendments, before seeking Communications Alliance Board approval and referring the draft code to the ACMA for consideration for registration.

Comment Sought on Industry Code C518:2006 Call Charging and Billing Accuracy Code

Communications Alliance is seeking public comment on the C518:2006 Call Charging and Billing Accuracy Code.

The Call Charging and Billing Accuracy Code (C518) was first published in 1998 and has not undergone any required changes since its third edition in 2006. This Code, as part of an Operational Deregistration review has been proposed for deregistration and repeal.

  • The requirements of this Code are no longer fit for today’s environment, given that there are no telephony services in Australia today which are purely circuit switched telephony services.
  • The Code itself is based on the AUSTEL Technical Standard TS029-1996 which is obsolete.
  • The PSTN Test Call equipment used for making and receiving test calls for assessing compliance with the Code are at end of life with very limited support available from manufacturers.
  • The telecommunications industry is very competitive and constantly evolving, and since the introduction of this Code, many plans in the market place now include high monthly call allowances for local, national and mobile calls, or unlimited bundles.
  • The Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code contains obligations that require suppliers to be able to verify and demonstrate Billing Accuracy.
  • The systems and process in place for conducting call charging audits are mature and stable and are reflected in the past 20 years of consistently satisfactory annual results.
The Code can be downloaded from here. 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 such as by post or fax..  Information on the Operations Reference Panel, including the Terms of Reference, can be found here.

All submissions received will be made publicly available on the Communications Alliance website unless the submitter requests otherwise.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD CLOSES AT 5:00 P.M. (AEST) ON THURSDAY 7 DECEMBER 2017.


Comment Sought on Industry Code C519:2004 End to End Network Performance for the STS

Communications Alliance is seeking public comment on C519:2004 End to End Network Performance for the STS.

The End to End Network Performance for the STS Code (C519) was first published in 1998 and has not undergone any revision changes since 2004. This Code, as part of an Operational Deregistration review has been proposed for deregistration and repeal.This Code is based on the AUSTEL Technical Standard TS027 which is obsolete.

  • With the evolution of newer technologies, C519 has effectively been replaced by G634:2013 Quality of Service parameters for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.
  • The Code no longer has any practical value to consumers and industry due to the declining use of circuit switched networks.
The Code can be downloaded from here. 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 such as by post or fax..  Information on the Operations Reference Panel, including the Terms of Reference, can be found here.

All submissions received will be made publicly available on the Communications Alliance website unless the submitter requests otherwise.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD CLOSES AT 5:00 P.M. (AEST) ON THURSDAY 7 DECEMBER 2017.

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