Telcos Act to Improve Assistance to those Affected by Domestic and Family Violence
Communications Alliance is reviewing and improving its industry guideline, Assisting Customers Experiencing Domestic and Family Violence.
Originally released in 2018 and developed in consultation with both general and specialist consumer groups and government and regulatory agencies, the guideline provides practical, operational-level guidance to retail telecommunications providers (RSPs) as they work to assist and support telecommunications service users impacted by domestic and family violence.
The review aims to update and improve the Guideline, accommodating regulatory change, industry feedback on practical application and training issues, and consumer and other stakeholder feedback on potential gaps, on what is working well, and on any areas for improvement.
Committee Chair, Annie Leahy (TPG Telecom), said: “I am honoured to be chairing the Communications Alliance working group on Domestic and Family Violence. With reported rates of abuse continuing to increase, it is more important than ever for the telecommunications industry to ensure it can appropriately support people impacted by domestic and family violence.
“By providing clear, operational guidance to providers about how to best assist impacted telecommunications service users, the Comms Alliance Guideline helps telecommunications companies to develop and implement systems and processes that support both those experiencing the violence, and the telecommunications customer service staff working to assist those in a domestic and family violence situation.
“The working group is picking up from review work commenced in 2020, which was paused due to COVID. Input received as part of that review will be considered, and we are looking to further engage with these and other stakeholders as this review progresses.”
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said: “This is vital work, and our members are collaborating well with other stakeholders to help ensure industry can appropriately support and help to protect those experiencing family and domestic violence.
“The Guideline was always intended to be a living document, representing a starting point for industry as it learns how to best support this vulnerable group and the staff assisting them to manage this complex and traumatic issue.
The 2018 Communications Alliance Assisting Customers Experiencing Domestic and Family Violence Guideline is publicly available here.
Working group participants include: Amaysim, Aussie Broadband, Foxtel, Optus, Pivotel, Telstra, TPG Telecom and Vocus Group.
Consumer groups and other stakeholders wishing to engage with Communications Alliance on this issue should contact Peppi Wilson, Manager Policy and Regulatory, Communications Alliance – email@example.com
Proposed Licensing Changes Effecting C-Band Radiofrequency Spectrum
The ACMA has recently consulted on the following proposed changes to spectrum regulations:
- arrangements for allocating area-wide apparatus licences (AWLs) in the 3.4–4.0 GHz band in remote Australia, and
- declare parts of the spectrum in the frequency ranges 3400–3575 MHz and 3700–3800 MHz for re-allocation by issuing spectrum licences.
The radiofrequency spectrum in the 3400–4200 MHz frequency range is of considerable interest to our satellite service members. Several members of our Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) operate C-band gateway Earth Stations in metropolitan and other areas of Australia, to support the maritime, mining, energy, defence, telecommunications and government sectors. These gateways provide vital communication links to remote and regional areas in Australia and the Asia Pacific, especially in tropical and oceanic areas, often where no other telecommunications options are available.
The SSWG has provided submissions to both the AWL and the spectrum licence consultations seeking further clarity and highlighting technical and commercial challenges in the proposals.
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.
Communications Alliance members interested in contributing to an industry submission (if one is being developed in response to a specific consultation) should contact us.