Issue No 23: 22 August 2017
Independent Chair appointed to Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code Review
Code Variation RegisteredCommunications Alliance has appointed Ms Fay Holthuyzen as the Independent Chair of the upcoming review of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code.
The Code contains consumer protection rules in key areas including customer service, complaint handling, advertising, billing and credit management.
Ms Holthuyzen – an acknowledged industry and policy expert and former Deputy Secretary of the Federal Department of Communications IT and the Arts - also chaired the previous TCP Code revision in 2012.
A working committee including representatives from industry, consumers, regulators and the Federal Government will undertake the scheduled five-yearly review. If the review finds that the Code needs to be revised, the working committee will also undertake that revision, before seeking and taking into account feedback from the general public and other stakeholders. The revised Code will then be submitted to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for registration.
Communications Alliance also announced today the registration, by the ACMA, of a variation to the TCP Code. The variation expressly provides that being a victim of family or domestic violence is a criterion for access to Financial Hardship assistance from service providers and encourages providers to consider the unique circumstances a victim of domestic or family violence may be experiencing when developing flexible repayment options. A Communications Alliance working group is also developing a guidance document in consultation with consumer representatives on how providers can best assist customers who are victims of family or domestic violence.
The variation and guidance document are in line with a recommendation of the Victoria Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Industry Reacts to ACCC Guidance
The Australian telecommunications industry fully supports the ACCC’s six best practice principles for advertising broadband speeds, and the objectives laid out in the ACCC’s release of detailed guidance today – to ensure that consumers are well informed about the performance of the broadband product they are considering buying, and are able to seek remedies if the service does not match the promised performance levels.
“However, internet service providers (ISPs) think it is reasonable for consumers to receive an understanding of how their service will perform at various times of the day – not just in the evening busy hours, which are the focus of the ACCC guidance,” said Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton.
The telecommunications industry is assessing the cost and complexity that will be added to the task of selling broadband services in Australia following today’s release.
“A number of ISPs have raised concerns that the ACCC guidance document released today adds layers of complexity to the task of marketing broadband services in Australia,
Family Friendly Filters
Any filter product is eligible to apply for Family Friendly Filter status, and we encourage interested providers to contact us about becoming accredited.
Communications Alliance is pleased to welcome the following new member;
ITU Telecom World 2017
The ITU Telecom World 2017, will be held from 25-28 September 2017 in Busan, Republic of Korea. This is an annual event organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialised agency for ICTs. This year’s event will be hosted by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) of the Republic of Korea.
Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) is Now Accepting Applications
Application deadline is 2 September 2017 by 2:00 PM EAST
PTC’s Young Scholar Program (YSP) is designed to recognize, encourage, and support up-and-coming scholars in the field of information and communication technologies. Selected participants will be invited to present their research at PTC’s 40th anniversary conference.