Issue No 17: 20 July 2021



Hot Topics
  • ACOMMS 2021: 18 November 2021 - Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

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ACOMMS re-scheduled to 18 November 2021

Due to COVID-related restrictions in Greater Sydney, it has, unfortunately, become necessary to re-schedule the 2021 ACOMM Awards gala dinner.

The 2021 ACOMMs will now take place on the evening of Thursday, 18 November at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.

The Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon. Paul Fletcher, has been invited to deliver a keynote address.

Media Release



Industry Gains Clarity on Latest NSW COVID Restrictions

The telecommunications sector has sought and obtained some further clarity on the sectoral impact of the most recent business restrictions imposed in NSW to help stem Greater Sydney Delta outbreak.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said the NSW Government had been responsive to arguments we put to it by Comms Alliance and its members and had sought to addressed a number of industry’s concerns within the NSW health order.

“We received confirmation that, alongside ‘click-and-collect’ operations, telco retail outlets can also have COVID-safe in-person contact in order to repair or replace devices. This is important, particularly, in circumstances where elderly or vulnerable customers need to have the connectivity of their device restored – that’s a key part of ensuring the customers’ safety and security during the lock-down and their ability to seek help if required,“ Mr Stanton said.

“The conditions placed on construction activity do allow mobile carriers and their contractors to carry out work and complete current builds at mobile sites, in order to ensure the safety or security of a site.”

Australians Encouraged to Contact their Telcos about Financial Assistance

The telecommunications industry has encouraged anyone affected by the current COVID lockdowns to reach out to their telco about financial hardship assistance.

Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said “all telco providers have financial hardship assistance available for their customers who are having any challenges with their bills. We strongly encourage Australians to reach out and ask for help early.

“We understand this is a challenging time, and staying connected is more important than ever. Keeping Australians connected, including those who experience hardship and may be unable to pay their bills due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, is a key priority for telecommunications providers.

“Customers should check their provider’s website for their ‘Financial Hardship Policy’ to see what’s available, and contact their provider with any questions. We recommend when contacting your provider you specifically request ‘financial hardship assistance’ to be connected to the right help as quickly as possible.”

What providers are doing:

All providers have Financial Hardship assistance available and must provide flexible repayment options to meet a customer’s individual circumstances. Financial Hardship policies are always available on a provider’s website, including guidance on how to apply for assistance. In addition to the Financial Hardship assistance always available, some providers have specific COVID-19 assistance available for Australians impacted by lockdowns. These include free extra or unlimited data and pausing small business plans for those who need to shut down temporarily. Check your provider’s website to see what’s available and how to access it.

How to contact your provider:
Self- service options: Many telcos offer self-service online options, including via apps and interactive chat, where you can find out about financial hardship assistance or other options your provider my offer, such as requesting a one-time payment extension or pausing a small business service during a shutdown.

Retail stores: While Telcos will keep their retail outlets open where possible, in accordance with social distancing policies, customer numbers permitted in-store will be limited. We strongly encourage customers to first try online self-service options and check providers’ websites for up-to-date information, before heading to a store.

Current Consultations

There are multiple open consultations relevant to telecommunications that provide an opportunity for you to have your say.

Links to each of these consultations, along with their closing dates, are below.

Closing Date
Regional Telecommunications ReviewRTIRC30/09/2021
Department of Home Affairs
Consumer Vulnerability
Updates to spectrum licence taxes
Revisions to the Credit Reporting Code
Australian Retail Credit Association
Right to Repair - Draft Report
Productivity Commission

Submission to DTA Digital Identity Legislation Position Paper

Communications Alliance has provided a submission in response to the Digital Transformation Agency Digital Identity Legislation Position Paper. The submission raises concerns in the following areas:

  • Additional checks for Relying Parties
  • Risks arising from unlimited scale
  • Identity fraud and security
  • Public consultation on technical standards
  • Accredited Parties wishing to simultaneously operate outside the TDIF
  • Liability, limitations and exclusions
  • Risk of overlapping or conflicting privacy requirements

We welcome your feedback on our newsletter.

Contact Tel: (61) 2 9959 9111