COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE LOOKS FORWARD TO FURTHER ENGAGEMENT ON CONSUMER SAFEGUARDS REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS

Sydney, 15 November 2018: Communications Alliance today welcomed the decision to retain the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), but cautioned against Government recommendations that could threaten its independence.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, also expressed concern about recommendations in Part A of the Government’s Consumer Safeguards Review that could drive up the costs of the TIO scheme, to the detriment of consumers and industry alike.

Mr Stanton welcomed the opportunity, offered by Government, to engage with stakeholders during coming months on the practicality of the 32 Part A recommendations and their potential implementation.

He said the independence of the TIO was one of its core strengths as the external dispute resolution body for the telco sector.

“Industry has never controlled the TIO – nor should we.

“By the same token, we do not believe that the TIO should be placed under the control of the industry regulator, the ACMA.”

“Also, given the very extensive record keeping rules that have just been put in place by the ACMA, and the fact that the new Complaints Handling Standard is still being implemented – as highlighted by the Government’s paper – we would have concerns about too hastily implementing the recommendations related to those brand-new instruments.

“Many of the recommendations would act to drive up the cost of what is already an expensive scheme; and the cost of delivering telecommunications services to consumers and small businesses.

“We need to look critically at whether additional layers of regulation would add real value, or just extra expense.

“A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) would help do that, but, in its absence, we look forward to working with Government, consumers, the TIO and other stakeholders to help draw out the best and most practicable elements of the recommendations.”

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body  in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to  provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead  it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and  services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of  consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about  Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani
Kurt Graham kgraham@sefiani.com.au
0431 478 558