Issue No 5: 7 March 2016



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Changes to Consumer Protection Code Welcomed

Communications Compliance has welcomed the changes to the code compliance framework contained in Chapter 9 of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code - a revised version of which was registered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on 4 March 2016.

Communications Compliance is the compliance monitoring body established by industry in 2012 under the TCP Code.

Deirdre Mason, Chair of Communications Compliance, commented that:“The changes to Chapter 9 have successfully addressed some of the challenges faced by carriage service providers (CSPs) in terms of fulfilling their compliance obligations, challenges that we have had first-hand visibility of in our role as the Code compliance monitor.

“The introduction of dual lodgement windows and the streamlining of compliance documentation in particular should allow for greater flexibility and reduced reporting burdens on CSPs who are required to lodge documents with Communications Compliance.

Telecommunications providers that offer services to residential and small business customers, irrespective of whether they have previously lodged documents with CommCom, will need to register their details with Communications Alliance Ltd (CA) by 3 May 2016.

The TCP Code was revised by a broad stakeholder group including industry and consumer representatives, convened by Communications Alliance.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said that the changes to Chapter 9 of the code are appropriate also in the light of year-on-year improvements in industry compliance with the consumer protection provisions and the massive reduction in complaints to the TIO, which have fallen to a nine-year low.

All queries relating to the lodgement of compliance documents should be directed to CommCom at cspservices@commcom.com.au

Submission on the ‘Mandatory Data Breach Notification Bill’

Communications Alliance has provided a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department in response to the exposure draft of the Privacy Amendment (Notification of Serious Data Breaches) Bill 2015. In its submission Communications Alliance welcomes the exposure draft as an improvement on drafts and concepts that have been discussed in the past but highlights several areas for improvement to assist the creation of a more practicable and effective mandatory date breach notification mechanism that provides sufficient clarity to Industry and avoids ‘notification fatigue’. Areas of concern include:

  • the wide or difficult to interpret definitions used in the threshold test for notifications;
  • the potential of multiple notifications being sent for the same breach and the resulting inefficiencies and risk of ‘notification fatigue’ of affected individuals;
  • the ability to take mitigating measures, especially in the context of encryption; and
  • the workings around some of the Australian Information Commissioner’s powers.
The submission can be downloaded from the Communications Alliance website.

Revised Guideline for connecting digital broadcast equipment

Communications Alliance has published a revised version of the Installation of Broadcast Cabling and connection of Digital Broadcast Equipment to a Telecommunications Network Industry Guideline (G642). The Guideline has been updated to bring it into alignment with developments within the broadcast industry since the Guideline was first published. This included updating references to the digital broadcast interfaces, codecs and internet protocols used by the broadcaster sector when using digital broadcast equipment.

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