Issue No 8 : 3 April 2023
ACOMM 2023 Awards - Nominate Now!
Now in its 17th year, the annual ACOMM Awards for excellence in telecommunications are a nationally recognised and unmissable occasion on the comms events calendar.
To make a nomination, visit: https://acomms.com.au/2023/nominate-now/
Nominations close Friday, 28 April 2023.
See all 13 nomination categories here.
Customer Equipment Standards Under Review
Communications Alliance is seeking comments from interested parties on the following five Customer Equipment Standards that are scheduled for review:
- AS/CA S002:2010 Analogue interworking and non-interference requirements for Customer Equipment for connection to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Called up under legislation for new products, but with the deceasing applicability of this Standard to products coming to market, the Standard is being considered for reconfirmation.
- AS/ACIF S016:2001 Requirements for Customer Equipment for connection to hierarchical digital interfaces. Applies to products with hierarchical digital interfaces operating at 2048 kbit/s, 8448 kbit/s, 34,368 kbit/s or 139,264 kbit/s. Also called up under legislation for new products but again, with the deceasing applicability of this Standard to products coming to market, its future status is being reviewed.
- AS/ACIF S031:2001 Requirements for ISDN Basic Access Interface and AS/ACIF S038:2001 Requirements for ISDN Primary Rate Access Interface. Neither are called up under legislation (both having been repealed in December 2022). Consideration being given to withdraw both Standards.
- AS/CA S043.2:2016 Requirements for Customer Equipment for connection to a metallic local loop interface of a Telecommunications Network — Part 2: Broadband. With respect to G.Fast, the Standard has been reviewed and is considered not in need of review. Otherwise, the Standard has been issued for its scheduled review.
For the above listed Standards, the aim of the review is to identify any existing issues, gaps, clarifications, technology impacts and whether any process improvements are required and that they are meeting industry needs.
The publications can be downloaded from https://www.commsalliance.com.au/Documents/all/Standards and further information can be found on the Documents under review webpage. Comments are sought by 21 April 2023.
ACMA Compliance Priorities
Communications Alliance provided brief comments to the ACMA on its compliance priority work program planning for 2023-24, encouraging the ACMA to increase its educational activities and to work collaboratively with Comms Alliance on initiatives where appropriate. The submission encouraged work to educate both industry and consumers, with suggestions provided for work in both areas. The Comms Alliance submission is available here.
Communications Alliance made a submission in response to the Attorney-General’s Department Privacy Act Review Report 2022.
The submissions focuses on feedback on some key areas of the Report, including for example:
- The definition of personal information, de-identification and sensitive information and the implications of amendments to the definitions in the communications sector;
- Privacy policies and collection notices;
- Consent and online privacy settings;
- Rights of the individual and the exception regime;
- Opt-outs, direct marketing, targeting and targeted advertising and the implications on the personalisation of services;
- Security, destruction and retention of personal information;
- Data controller-processor distinction; and
- Code making powers for the Information Commissioner.
The submission also makes a number of other observations that do not directly address one of the proposals put forward in the Report.
Industry Online Safety Codes Submitted for Registration to eSafety Commissioner
Six associations representing the online industry in Australia (listed below) have submitted the revised Consolidated Industry Codes of Practice for the Online Industry, Phase 1 (class 1A and class 1B material) for registration to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, to help protect Australians from harmful content on the internet. The codes were submitted on Friday, 31 March 2023, the deadline set by the eSafety Commissioner.
The codes submitted cover participants across eight key sections of the online industry specified in the Online Safety Act 2021: providers of social media, messaging, search engine and app distribution services, internet and hosting service providers, manufacturers and suppliers of any equipment that connects to the internet, and operators of all websites that can be accessed by Australian users.
Development of the draft codes has involved over 19 months of extensive work, detailed below. The drafts have been informed by research into community attitudes, industry working groups, two rounds of public and expert consultation (with 113 submissions received in total), as well as significant input from eSafety, including through its September 2021 Position Paper.
Industry associations first submitted draft codes to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in November 2022. On 9 February 2023, eSafety made a preliminary assessment of the first draft codes.This assessment requested that additional feedback be considered by industry prior to the codes being resubmitted to the eSafety Commissioner by 9 March 2023, to better address community expectations.
Industry associations requested an extension to conduct a second 30-day round of consultation on the revised draft codes. A short extension was granted, with a deadline set for the revised codes to be resubmitted to the eSafety Commissioner by 31 March 2023, allowing for a two-week period of second public consultation.
The second period of public consultation on the draft codes took place from 9 March until 23 March 2023. Associations proactively contacted over 200 expert stakeholders, received 25 additional submissions and conducted a briefing session for expert stakeholders to help inform participation in the consultation period. A submissions log detailing how feedback from this consultation period has been dealt with in the final draft codes has been submitted to the Office of eSafety Commissioner, along with the draft codes and an updated request for registration. These documents are also published and available at onlinesafety.org.au.
A spokesperson for the steering group of six associations, said:
“The codes submitted today represent a globally unprecedented industry effort. We’d like to thank the diverse community members, eSafety and expert stakeholders who have contributed to consultation on the draft codes and helped ensure they reflect the complexity, importance and nuance of the subject matter they propose to cover. ”
The final codes have been submitted to the eSafety Commissioner. The eSafety Commissioner will assess the codes and make a final decision regarding registration in the coming weeks.
Background on the codes
The Online Safety Act 2021 (Act), which came into effect in January 2022, requires the development of codes by industry associations to regulate certain types of harmful online material, known as Class 1A and 1B material with reference to Australia’s classification scheme. This includes material promoting child sexual abuse, terrorism, extreme crime and violence, crime and violence, and drug-related content.
The draft codes cover participants across eight key sections of the online industry specified in the Act: providers of social media, messaging, search engine and app distribution services, internet and hosting service providers, manufacturers and suppliers of any equipment that connects to the internet, and operators of all websites that can be accessed by Australian users.
Media enquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communications Alliance is pleased to welcome the following new members:
Brightwave is a telecommunications carrier that sells services exclusively through wholesale channels, providing thier partners with alternative access networks.
Mobile Satellite Services Australia
Globalstar offers reliable satellite and terrestrial connectivity that is simple, fast, secure, and affordable. With its low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite network, the company connects and protects assets, transmits critical operational data, and saves lives — from any location — for consumers, businesses, and government agencies, with coverage in 200+ countries.
Modica Group is a global intelligent messaging company. They provide their clients with secure, high volume, enterprise messaging solutions.
Below is a list of currently open telecommunications-related consultations being conducted by Government and other organisations that provide an opportunity for you to have your say.