Issue No 17: 1 August 2016



Hot Topics

  • ACOMMS 2016: 20 July 2016 - Photo's and Highlight Video  here


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  • David Stewart 2016 Communications Ambassador
  • Innovation - Large Company – Telstra for Telstra Air.
    Telstra Air is Australia’s largest Wi-Fi network with more than 300,000 hotspots in Australia and 17 million globally.
  • Vendor Innovation - Large – Optus Mobile for Cash by Optus Wearables. 
    Cash by Optus Wearables enables Optus mobile customers to make contactless payments using their phone anywhere Visa payWave is accepted
  • Vendor Innovation - Emerging – Symbio Networks for TollShield.
    TollShield for Symbio Networks is a real-time toll fraud mitigation software.
  • Commitment to Customer Service – Southern Phone Company
    Southern Phone Company implemented an integrated approach to lifting customer satisfaction levels for mobile customers
  • Services to the Industry, Professional Services – Cisco Systems
    for bringing together 500 students with industry leaders at their NedAcad Student Summit during Cisco Live ses’.
  • Best Mobile Solution – Optus Mobile for their Cash by Optus
    is Money Made Mobile.
  • Internet of Things Innovator – NetComm Wireless
    for their NetComm Wireless Smart Home Gateway.  This first IoT device to reduce household power consumption and sustain energy efficiency.
  • Community Contribution – Conexu Foundation for Braille Captel
    for the Conexu Braille CapTel Trial allows people who are deaf and blind access their telephone using their own voice.
  • Community Contribution – Vodafone and the Vodafone Foundation for DreamLab
    This android app harnesses the collective power of users’ devices when they are charging, by sending them tiny problems from the cloud to solve. Users choose a research project (breast, prostate, ovarian or pancreatic cancer), and how much data they’d like to give on mobile (max 500MB a month) or WiFi.
  • Satellite Provider of the Year Award – SpeedCast
    for their investment in infrastructure to support classified communications for government clients.
  • Best Marketing Initiative – Cisco for Cisco Live
    their premier education program training destination for IT professionals worldwide.

Media Release

Highlight video from the night.  View here

Communications Alliance Welcomes Broadband Speed Consultation
– Cautions Against Over-Simplification

Communications Alliance welcomes the desire expressed by the ACCC today for consumers to have access to better information about broadband speeds.

Ironically, however, one of the main reasons that industry is constrained in its ability to offer more transparent information about broadband speeds and performance is the restriction placed on industry by the ACCC itself.

In the ACCC’s Information & Industry Guidance Paper: Broadband Internet Speed Claims and the Trade Practices Act 1974, the ACCC provides the following guidance:

“ISPs should avoid using hypothetical speeds in headline claims describing a service and in the names or titles that ISPs give to particular plans… ISPs must be able to substantiate stated maximum or “up to” speeds as being achievable by users of their services. ”

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, commented: “The ACCC guidance also requires ISPs to take account of a wide range of factors when they wish to make any statement about the data transfer rates available to consumers using their services.

“Some of these factors – including the need to consider the numbers of users of a broadband service within a customer’s premises, as well as the nature of the modem- device connection (e.g. cable or Wi-Fi) - are unrealistic for ISPs to identify on a customer- specific basis, thus making it difficult or impossible to make any claim about data transfer rates.”

As is stated in the Consultation Paper, the ACCC’s activities in relation to broadband speeds have historically focused on enforcement activity. The expectations in the Information & Industry Guidance paper, as well as the focus on enforcement, have resulted in a situation in which ISPs have understandably focused on competing on price and other features, rather than speed.

Mr Stanton said that Communications Alliance members are currently preparing an education package for consumers about the different types of broadband access technologies, the factors that can affect their performance and the overall consumer experience. Communications Alliance has already flagged that it will consult with consumer

groups in the preparation of this package. The education material will be in addition to that which is already offered by many service providers on their web sites and elsewhere.

It will include information about the tools already available to consumers – such as online speed meters – that provide independent real-time information about upload and download speeds.

Industry is also looking at potential options to improve information to consumers and looks forward to engaging with the ACCC and other stakeholders.

Mr Stanton cautioned against focusing primarily on broadband speeds.

“In consumer research recently carried out for Communications Alliance, consumers said the two factors that mattered most to them about their broadband service were the cost of the service and the size of the data allowance.

“We should also not over-react to changes in the mix of complaints to the TIO, given that such changes can be momentary. Clearly the advent of Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD) services in Australia such as Netflix have contributed to increased pressure on broadband networks at a time of transition to nbn-based networks.

“We should remember the ‘crisis’ sparked by complaints to the TIO about mobile network reach of several years ago. The TIO warned it was a huge problem, the regulator leapt into action and called a public summit and by the time it took place, the wave of complaints had largely subsided.”

Year-On-Year Results Improve, Quarterly figures Increase

Telco complaints as a proportion of services in operation (SIO) increased 3.2 per cent in April-June 2016, but dropped 1.5 per cent from the same time last year. The results were released today in the Complaints in Context report by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) and Communications Alliance.

The April-June results reflect an increase in overall new complaints to the TIO during the quarter.  Historically, seasonal factors contribute to an increase in complaints to the TIO during January to March, followed by a downturn in April to June. This year, the TIO saw a slight increase in complaints during the April-June quarter. 

The April-June figure of 6.4 represents an improvement of 1.5 per cent year on year. The total complaint ratio per 10,000 SIO for all participating providers was 6.4, an increase of 3.2 per cent on the previous quarter.

Complaints per 10,000 SIO increased for three of the five industry participants during the April quarter.

Complaints in Context is a quarterly report jointly published by the TIO and Communications Alliance. It can be found on the TIO websiteand the Communications Alliance website
Joint Media Release

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