Issue No 2: 29 January 2019
Communications Alliance - Assistance and Access Act 2018 (Encryption Bill) Forum
Wednesday 6 February 2019
Background:On 6 December 2018, the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendments (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 was passed in both Houses of Parliament after Labor had withdrawn a number of suggested amendments in return for Government’s promise to review the Act and consider the amendments in the New Year. The PJCIS is currently reviewing the legislation and is tasked to produce a report by 4 April 2019.
A collective of Industry Groups, including Communications Alliance, the Australian Industry Group(Ai Group), the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, Digital Industry Group Inc (DIGI) and the Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA) has recently made a submission to the PJCIS, recommending a raft of changes, drawing on the expertise of its members and recommending incorporation of the most useful aspects of the Labor amendments.
This Forum will provide an overview over the recommended changes to the legislation followed by observations from an expert panel, Q & A and discussion.
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Telecommunications Complaints in Context Fall to Lowest Level in Three Years
The rate of consumer complaints about telecommunications services fell further in the most recent quarter – generating the best results seen since 2015.
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 6.0 complaints per 10,000 services for the period October – December 2018. The full report, including participant ratios, can be found here.
This is now the fourth consecutive quarter in which the ratio has decreased – indicating that focussed efforts by service providers has improved service delivery and the overall customer experience.
It is the lowest ratio since October – December 2015.
Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said: “a full year of improvement demonstrates without question that the hard work by telecommunications providers is reaping dividends for customers.
“Some of the (industry regulator) ACMA’s new customer-service-focussed instruments came into effect halfway through this period of improvement, while others commenced towards the beginning of this most recent quarter. This has been a multi-faceted effort, and collaboration between Industry, Government, and regulators has been an important part of this success.
“However, Industry will not rest on its laurels and will continue working to improve, and we hope to sustain this positive trend into 2019.”
Stanton also spoke to the benefits of the Complaints in Context report, explaining that “data from an unbiased and trustworthy source such as the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, presented in a comparable way over time, gives consumers useful information and clearly identifies important trends. We look forward to the expansion of the report to more providers when the revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code is published later this year.”
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.
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