Issue No 23: 22 August 2017



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Independent Chair appointed to Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code Review

Code Variation Registered

Communications 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.
Further information on the TCP Code can be found here: http://commsalliance.com.au/Documents/all/codes/c628

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,
“The guidance appears self-contradictory in parts – calling on service providers to ‘discontinue’ any promotion of the speeds that consumers will experience outside the evening ‘busy hours’, but later appearing to permit this.
“Questions as to the practicality of the processes that the guidance calls for will become clearer as ISPs attempt to comply with it.”
Mr Stanton said industry would continue to work with the ACCC to assess the practicality of the guidance and looked forward to participating in the review of the regime 12 months from now.

Family Friendly Filters

Communications Alliance is working with Enex TestLab to revitalise the Family Friendly Filter program.

Any filter product is eligible to apply for Family Friendly Filter status, and we encourage interested providers to contact us about becoming accredited.


New Member

Communications Alliance is pleased to welcome the following new member;

Buzz Telco Pty Ltd



Founded in 2014, Buzz Telco holds its own against the competition.

Buzz Telco offers several NBN services and technology types, including fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the business (FTTB) and fixed wireless. Buzz Telco also provides ADSL 2+, home line, mobile and mobile broadband services. Both NBN and ADSL 2+ plans offer an unlimited download limit, but ADSL 2+ plans differ depending on the zone that you live in.

Acomm Awards 2017 Photos - View Here

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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.

The focus of Telecom World 2017 is on digital transformation and the opportunities it presents. The event will discuss the best ways to expand and grow the digital economy, drive sustainable ICT growth in emerging and developed markets, foster SME and innovation ecosystems and help fuel the creative economy. The event is designed to introduce ICT SMEs to large industry players and governments and facilitate partnerships. The event has in the past been attended by ICT ministers, heads of international organisations and UN agencies, policy makers, regulators, industry, SMEs, academia, and media.

The format (similar to previous years) includes ministerial roundtables and keynotes, panel sessions, workshops, an awards ceremony, sponsored sessions and international exhibitions showcasing technology and innovation. The current programme can be found online.

The event is a networking, promotional and information sharing opportunity for Australian industry and SMEs. Please visit https://telecomworld.itu.int/take-part/ if you would like to register. This is not a Communications Alliance event.

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.

Applications are now being accepted for PTC's 2018 YSP.  PTC's YSP offers promising young scholars the opportunity to:

  • Present their research in a high-visibility academic and industry forum
  • Engage in research discussions with esteemed academic faculty
  • Participate in PTC'18 activities
  • Gain exposure to current industry issues and trends
  • Meet PTC'18 attendees to share ideas, gain new insights, and identify practical research applications
  • Network with industry professionals, members of international organizations and NGOs, government officials, and academics from more than 75 countries
To learn more about the YSP program, please email youngscholars@ptc.org.or click here.


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