DRAFT PROPOSED FINANCIAL HARDSHIP STANDARD RELEASE
Sydney, 24 October 2023: Communications Alliance notes the draft financial hardship standard released for consultation today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and will work with the regulator in pursuit of operationally feasible outcomes for consumers across the spectrum of telecommunications consumer protection needs.
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said it was important that the standard be capable of implementation, but also that it meshes effectively with the broad range of additional protections in the enforceable industry code (the Telecommunications Consumer Protections, or TCP code) that is currently being revised and strengthened by Comms Alliance and its members.
“To be capable of producing better outcomes for customers in financial hardship, the standard must contain requirements that service providers can put into effect – particularly given the potential need for changes to IT systems and business processes, the tight timeframes that the ACMA is proposing and the fact that the industry’s ability to make back-end changes is normally constrained over the end-of-year holiday season,
“Key service provider representatives are already deeply engaged in the revision of the TCP Code – a process also subject to a tight ACMA-mandated deadline,
“Nonetheless, we will work constructively with the regulator to try to ensure that the standard, once in place, provides additional net benefits to customers,
“It is worth noting that the cost of telecommunications services are not rising in real terms and are not among the top five factors affecting cost of living increases for Australian consumers,” Mr Stanton said.
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
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.
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