Issue No 7: 23 March 2015



  • Rewind/Fast Forward: 25 March 2015 - Register here
  • The ACOMMS Awards 2015: 16 July 2015 -  Register here
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Senate should demand Cost-Clarity from Government before Passing Data Retention Laws

Sydney, 23 March 2015 – Senators considering the Government’s data retention legislation this week should stand up for Australian telecommunications consumers and demand that the Government clarify what it will contribute to the cost of the scheme, Communications Alliance urged today.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said it was unreasonable for the Government to push for the legislation to be passed into law before providing detail on its commitment to contribute to up-front capital costs that consultants estimate could amount to more than $319 million.

“We are not asking Senators to block the Bill, but simply to delay its passage until Government provides some detail about the contribution it has promised to make – given that telecommunication users will inevitably shoulder much of the burden of any Government shortfall,” Mr Stanton said.

Last week a broad coalition of the CEOs and senior executives of sixteen service providers wrote to Ministers to request that the Government clarify its promise – a request that so far appears to have elicited no response.

“Once the Bill passes the Senate any pressure on Government to make its promised “reasonable” or “substantial” contribution to the cost impost disappears – and Australian consumers are at the mercy of the Expenditure Review Committee,” Mr Stanton said.

The Government reported in its Autumn Repeal Day documentation, released last week, that the data retention regime was estimated to cost industry an additional $73.8 million per annum in increased compliance costs.

Mr Stanton said the Government should spell out the dollar value of its contribution, or at the very least the percentage of the total cost that it will contribute.

“The Government must also spell out how it proposes to apportion the funds among the hundreds of service providers that will have to invest in new systems to be able to comply with the data retention requirements.

“Genuine concerns have been expressed by smaller service providers that the costs being imposed by Government could limit their ability to compete in the market or drive them out of business.”

Introducing free tools to help keep your kids safe on smartphones

Telstra has begun offering millions of its  customers free software that protects their kids from digital risks and helps bring balance to mobile screen time. The Telstra Mobile Protect cyber safety management tool is designed to complement regular parental involvement in kids’ use of mobile phones by encouraging safe and responsible behaviour.

Through an easy-to-use portal customers can:

  • Set phone number restrictions: with one click, select medium or high levels of restriction. Then enter phone numbers to block, or allow certain numbers only and even set time restrictions to manage usage during the day.
  • Set internet content controls: with one click, customers can select internet browsing profiles that are tailored for young children and teens that permit some sites, while blocking adult-oriented content.
  • Set internet time-of-day restrictions: set the days and times that you want to restrict internet access. You can have the same restrictions every day or change them for each day of the week.

The service is free to Telstra post-paid customers and can also be applied to Telstra pre-paid services when linked to a post-paid account.

In addition to offering this tool to mobile customers, Telstra have also introduced My First Mobile Agreement – a free downloadable tool that acts as an agreement between parents and their kids around balanced and healthy smartphone behaviour. Telstra created the Agreement to encourage parents to sit down with their children to agree some basic ground rules when learning to use a smartphone.

See Telstra Exchange blog and link to Mobile Protect instructional video here:

New Member

Communications Alliance is pleased to welcome the following new member

Blisstel Communications



Launched in November 2013, Blisstel Communications is a new and emerging telecommunications service provider focused on providing their customers with competitively priced products and services and backing this up with great customer service.

Blisstel can provide a mix of communications solutions to meet specific needs.


The ACOMM Awards 2015 – Nominations Open

Nominations for the awards close on 17 April 2015.  Full details of the awards and criteria are available at http://www.acomms.com.au/nominations.php


Rewind/Fast Forward - Celebrate the Internet's 20th anniversary


Join Communications Alliance at Rewind/Fast Forward, a one-day event celebrating 20 years in of the commercial internet in Australia on Wednesday 25 March 2015 in Sydney.

Take a stroll down memory lane as we Rewind through the last twenty years, and Fast Forward to make predictions for the next ten, is a series of short, sharp presentations with plenty of question time.

Hear from:
Mark Armstrong - Director, Network Insight Institute
Luke Carruthers - General Partner, 25fifteen
Simon Hackett - founder of Internode
Michael Malone - founder of iiNet
Mark Scott - Managing Director, ABC
David Spence - Chairman, Vocus Communications
plus experts on field robotics, big data, the sharing economy, digital content, disruption and more!

Rewind/Fast Forward
When: Wednesday 25 March, 2015, 9am-5.30pm (followed by drinks and networking)
Where: Doltone House on Hyde Park, 3/181 Elizabeth St, Sydney
Cost: $330
Special rate for Communications Alliance members: $220 (enter the code RFF2015-CA)

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