Patrick Fair & Peter Leonard - 2023 Communications Ambassadors

Winners in 2023 include NBN Co, Fastmail, Felix Mobile, King & Wood Mallesons, Lockheed Martin Australia, Matchboard, Meshed, NBN Co, Nokia, Optus, and Silver Trak Digital.

Sydney, 28 July 2023: Two industry veterans and revered experts in the Australian telecommunications legal and regulatory framework, cyber security and privacy law, Patrick Fair and Peter Leonard, have jointly taken out the communication industry’s most prestigious accolade; being awarded the title of Communications Ambassador 2023 at this year’s ACOMM Awards.

The winners of the 2023 Communications Alliance Awards were announced this evening at the 17th Annual ACOMM Awards Dinner in Sydney. The evening’s keynote address was delivered by the Federal Minister for Communications, The Hon. Michelle Rowland MP, followed by an address from the Shadow Minister for Communications, The Hon. David Coleman MP.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said it was only the second time in the history of the ACOMMs that the judging panel had been unable to separate the top two finalists for the Communications Ambassador award, resulting in a dead-heat and dual winners.

”This result could not be more appropriate, nor more highly merited. Patrick and Peter are acknowledged as two of the sharpest brains in the sector and have provided wide-ranging, mission-critical advice to all players – from governments and regulators, to carriers, CSPs, vendors and so many others – over multiple decades.”

“In a technical, regulatory, legislative and security environment as complex and dynamic as we navigate in the communications sector, the analysis, advice and commitment that icons such as Patrick and Peter provide are indispensable.”
“Both Patrick and Peter have also offered invaluable voluntary guidance and help to Communications Alliance, our members and to consumers, as the sector has transformed.”

Stanton added, “The ACOMM Awards represent the pinnacle of achievement for the Australian communications industry, and I congratulate all the winners and finalists in the 2023 ACOMMS.”

“Excellence in innovation is a pervasive trait in the achievements of the 2023 ACOMM winners.”

The winners of the 2023 ACOMM Awards are:

COMMUNICATIONS AMBASSADOR – Patrick Fair and Peter Leonard

Innovation – Large Company – Optus: Living Network (Network Pulse, Turbocharge & Pause)
Optus has launched new features on the Living Network to give customers control of their connectivity – Network Pulse, Optus Pause & Optus Internet & Mobile Turbocharge. Across these three features, Optus customers can see how the Network is performing for them in real time, then they can pause connectivity to different devices, or temporarily boost the performance of their devices with Turbocharge.

Innovation – SME – Meshed: nCounter “People Counting” Solution
Meshed nCounter Pedestrian Counting Solution is a fully anonymised wireless solution that provides accurate real time data on pedestrian traffic & patronage in specific locations. nCounter has been customer driven from the outset & enjoyed wide uptake, due to its innovative use of lpwan technology, its scalability, accuracy & low cost to install & maintain.

Best Mobile Solution – Silver Trak Digital: 5G Cinema Direct content delivery service
Telstra and media asset management specialists Silver Trak Digital have launched their new 5G Cinema Direct content delivery service – Australia’s fastest, most robust and most secure delivery of digital content over 5G supported by Cradlepoint 5G solutions, for cinemas, content distributors and movie studios. Using Cradlepoint 5G connectivity solutions, Cinema Direct requires no cabling, can be installed and working very quickly and is backed by Telstra’s entire network infrastructure and support teams.

Services to Industry – Professional Services – King & Wood Mallesons: Restructuring advisor - legal and regulatory
KWM worked with Telstra as its lead counsel on its strategic corporate restructure, which involved a ‘top hatting’ and the listing of Telstra Group Limited (the new head entity) on the ASX.

Commitment to Customer Service – felix Mobile: felix customer service team
felix mobile offers a cutting-edge digital care experience, favouring easy to use self-service through the digital service funnel, underpinned by a uniquely human touch in the ‘7 ways we care’ service framework. felix is proud of its 4.7* rating on product review of which many reviews specifically reference
their customer service experience

Australian Space Industry Award – Lockheed Martin Australia: Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN)
SouthPAN was established to provide Australasia and its maritime regions with instant, accurate and reliable positioning and navigation. LMA has played a pivotal role in developing, deploying and operating SouthPAN. The unique capabilities of LMA’s SBAS are helping to generate benefits for Australia’s space industry, including job creation, and broader implications for sectorsacross the nation.

Vendor Innovation – Nokia: Nokia’s Lightspan MF-14 – next-generation fibre technology
The Nokia Lightspan MF is the industry’s first family of software-defined fibre access nodes designed to provide non- blocking delivery of massive scale, high-speed broadband services with 25G PON, 50G PON and beyond. Designed for the Fibre for Everything era.

Contribution to Society – Optus: Optus Digital Thumbprint program
For 10 years the Digital Thumbprint program has provided digital safety and wellbeing education for Australian school students, surpassing the 2025 target to support 550,000 young people to participate safely online. In 2013, issues like cyberbullying, image-based abuse, protecting yourself from hackers and contact from strangers were still emerging. These issues remain prevalent and are deepening. The Digital Thumbprint program has positively changed behaviour and supported young people and families to thrive in the digitalworld.

Diversity and Inclusion – NBN Co: Customer Field Technician Traineeship Program by nbn
nbn has created a Customer Field Technician Traineeship program to improve nbn’s Field Operations workforce diversity and encourage the development of ‘new to industry’ talent, allowing individuals across metro and regional areas to create career pathways in the telco industry despite not having relevant skills.

Artificial Intelligence – NBN Co: nbn® Assistant
The nbn Assistant is a multi-channel Artificial Intelligence chatbot that helps end customers quickly find answers to their questions through digital self-service across nbn digital channels.

Best Digital Platform – Matchboard
Matchboard’s matching platform offers an innovative solution to the often time-consuming task of finding trusted suppliers online. With a specialisation in the supply chain around customer communications, Matchboard’s platform has helped thousands of businesses find solutions to grow their business and improve their customer service.

Cyber Security and Online Safety Innovation – Fastmail: Fastmail Expands Masked Email – Supports User Privacy Tools
Together, Fastmail and Bitwarden created a new Masked Email integration, designed to combine Bitwarden’s open-source password manager with Fastmail’s open API. Fastmail expands masked email partnerships and further supports online privacy and open standards work.

Special awards also went to Aussie Broadband, Optus, Telstra and TPG Telecom, recognising their decision to collectively and voluntarily donate $500,000 to provide additional funding for financial counsellors in Australia.

“The overall quality of the nominations and the commitment to innovation, improved customer outcomes and societal benefit are strong testament to the ongoing growth of the sector in Australia. The sector’s continued customer-focused performance has driven complaint volumes in the most recent Communications Alliance Complaints-in Context index drop to an all-time low,” Mr Stanton said.

Communications Alliance is the primary communications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, platform providers, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to be the most influential association in Australian communications, co-operatively initiating programs that promote sustainable industry development, innovation and growth, while generating positive outcomes for customers and society. 

The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour.  For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Aprille Lim  alim@sefiani.com.au
0413 317 788