Issue No 27: 6 November 2018
Strong Results from Broadband Monitoring
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) monitored by the competition regulator have exceeded the performance promised to customers – delivering 102.3% of the advertised speed of the services they provide.
Communications Alliance welcomed today’s quarterly ACCC Broadband Monitoring report, which confirms that service providers continue to provide high speeds to their customers
The ACCC report showed that the six service providers included in the study delivered between 82.1 and 88.4 per cent of the maximum plan speeds during the evening busy period – an improvement on the previous quarterly result.
“But if we measure performance against the more relevant metric – the speeds that service providers promise in their advertisements - the results are even more encouraging,” said Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton.
“The service providers achieved an average of 102.28% of their advertised speeds (excluding the one provider that does not advertise typical busy hour speeds).
“This is an excellent result – up from 99.9% in the previous quarter – and shows that customers are receiving the service performance that has been promised and they have purchased,” said Stanton.
Mr Stanton expressed disappointment that the ACCC chose again to report only against ‘maximum’ speeds, rather than also including advertised speeds.
“This is unfortunate, given that the ACCC has issued guidance – and providers have entered enforceable undertakings in accordance with it – that providers should not make claims around maximum plan speeds, and instead should advertise based on information about ‘typical busy hour speeds.’
The ACCC report correlates with the recent positive Complaints in Content report issued by Communications Alliance, which showed that complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)as a proportion of services in operation (SIO) for participating service providers decreased to 6.2 complaints per 10,000 services for the period July – September 2018 – the best result for two years.
Research Shows Australians deeply Concerned by Government’s Spyware Legislation:
Government Should Slow Down, Stop and Listen
New research released today by the Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet shows a majority of Australians are deeply concerned by the Government’s proposed Assistance and Access Bill 2018 – known as the Encryption Bill.
“The Government has a serious problem on its hands – their constituents across the country see the clear danger of the Encryption Bill,” said board member of Digital Rights Watch and member of the Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet, Lizzie O’Shea.
“We continue to call for the Bill to be rejected in its current form as it represents a danger to our cybersecurity,” Ms O’Shea said.
The Government has been warned by multiple technology and legal experts, as well as privacy and human rights organisations, that this proposed law puts the online security of all Australians at serious risk but to date has largely ignored these concerns.
The Encryption Bill gives police and spy agencies the ability to force technology companies to put Government-sanctioned spyware on devices or break into an individual’s encrypted data and devices without their knowledge or permission.
“If passed in its current form, the proposed Encryption Bill would be a first of its kind globally, with the Government granting itself unprecedented powers to direct communications providers, hardware manufacturers, telcos and technology companies to install or develop interception mechanisms without telling anyone affected by these changes,” said Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, also a member of the Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet.
“With close to three quarters [73.2%] of people believing the Government shouldn’t have access to personal information or data that exceeds standards in other developed countries, it is clear that Australians have no interest in being the international surveillance guinea pigs either,” Mr Stanton said.
“Manufacturing and many other industries increasingly depend on smart connected devices. Strong cyber security is central to customer trust, competitiveness, the strength of our economy and the reliability of our infrastructure. The potential impacts of the proposed legislation extend well beyond multinational technology businesses, and perhaps beyond what may be intended. For nearly everyone who may be affected, the legislation remains unfamiliar and its implications poorly understood,” said Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, another member of the Alliance.
The members of the Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet support the legitimate activities of law enforcement agencies, but the fact is that the Encryption Bill will make us less able to protect ourselves against the risks of criminal and state-sponsored hacking. National security is not just about giving agencies powers to pursue terrorists, it also includes the protection of everyday cybersecurity of all Australians – and encryption is our best tool to do that.
The Alliance asks that the Government take these concerns seriously and ensure a genuine consultative process is being followed in the development of practical measures and their implementation. What is proposed could have a real impact on everyday Australians and the Government needs to ensure concerns from all stakeholders are heard, understood and properly addressed.
The research was conducted by ReachTEL during the nights of 4 and 5 October of 2028 residents across Australia and on 15 October of 2011 residents across Australia.
*Important: nbn™ is a member of Communications Alliance and the Australian Industry Group but has not participated in the preparation of this media release.
Telecommunications Complaints in Context at lowest level in two years
The volume of complaints about telco service providers has continued to fall in the past quarter, as shown in the Complaints in Context report published today by Communications Alliance.
Complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)as a proportion of services in operation (SIO) for service providers who participate in the report decreased to 6.2 complaints per 10,000 services for the period July – September 2018. The full report, including participant ratios, can be found here.
This is the third consecutive quarter in which the ratio had decreased, and is the lowest ratio since July - September 2016.
Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said, “this demonstrates that the improvement in complaint handling and customer service which re-emerged in February this year has been sustained and continues to deliver better outcomes for consumers.”
“While the TIO annual report provides valuable insight, we welcome this up-to-date data reflecting the hard work put in by service providers along with co-regulatory actions by Minister Mitch Fifield, the ACCC and the ACMA.
“Industry sees these positive results as encouraging, and has committed to continue improving customer experience.”
Mr Stanton also mentioned that an upcoming revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code will expand the existing Complaints in Context report to include the top ten recipients of TIO complaints, in addition to any providers who choose to voluntarily participate.
“This will give consumers a credible and comparative quarterly snapshot of how well their provider is managing customer service – the first time that such a comprehensive barometer has been available to Australian telecommunications customers.”
Complaints in Context is a quarterly report published by Communications Alliance with complaints data provided by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. This quarter and previous reports can be found here.
Communications Alliance is pleased to welcome the following new member;