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Issue No 29: 19 October 2015

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Service Provider Survey Results Show Compliance Challenges for Data Retention Regime

Sydney, 13 October 2015 – A survey of Australian telecommunications service providers reveals a low state of readiness for the Federal Government's mandatory two year data retention regime, which comes into effect on 13 October.

In summary, the survey (see attachment for full results) carried out by Communications Alliance and completed by 63 service providers by the survey deadline of 9 October, found that:

  • Over two thirds of providers were not confident at all or only somewhat confident that they had actually understood what exactly is required of them.
  • Only 16% are ‘ready’ to retain and encrypt the data as required.
  • 81% had lodged a Data Retention Implementation Plan or had indicated that they will still do so (10% of those had been approved).
  • 58% of providers estimated that their one-off set-up costs to comply with the regime will be somewhere between $10k-250k; another 24% estimated over $250k. Of those, 12% said it would be above $1m with some indicating ranges well above $10m.
  • 61% had lodged an application for exemption/variation or had indicated that they will still do so. Only 5% of those had been approved (subject to conditions which the Communication Access Coordinator within the Attorney General's Department can impose).

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said the results highlighted the magnitude of the challenge ahead for all stakeholders if the industry was to achieve compliance with the new laws.

"It is no surprise that many service providers won't be compliant when the legislation comes into force - many of these because they are still waiting to hear from Government as to whether their implementation plans have been approved.”

"All providers are still waiting to hear from Government as to how it will apportion the $131.3 million that has been pledged in assistance to partially meet the set-up costs that service providers - and ultimately their customers - are facing as a result of the regime.”

"The Government has indicated it will consult with industry in coming weeks on how to apportion  the subsidy and this remains an urgent task, as service providers are now having to commit to investment decisions without knowing how much of that spending will remain unfunded.”

"In light of the survey results, the onus remains on Government to work constructively with industry - and not rush to enforcement - over coming months to help providers come into line with what is proving to be a very challenging and somewhat confusing impost on the industry."


Industry Welcomes a Further 10.5% Year-on-Year Fall in Complaints to the TIO

Sydney, 9 October 2015 – A further significant year-on-year reduction in telecommunications consumer complaints demonstrates that industry continues to deliver on its commitment to an excellent customer experience, Communications Alliance said today.

The Annual Report 2014-15, released by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman today, showed that complaints to the TIO have fallen by a further 10.5% over the past year and 37% during the past four years. The results also come on the back of significant increases in the numbers of telecommunications services in operation during the same period. Mobile complaints dropped to their lowest level since 2007-08.

“This is the fourth consecutive year of significant reductions in complaints and it is fair to say that industry is on a long-term path to greater customer satisfaction. The TIO results are backed by our quarterly national polling which also shows steady improvements in customer satisfaction since the commencement of the polling two and a half years ago,” Communications Alliance Director of Program Management, Christiane Gillespie-Jones, said.

“This improvement stems from various factors, including huge investments into improved networks, a strong Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code and, most importantly, an industry-wide commitment to deliver an outstanding customer experience.”

“We have seen very encouraging results in many areas – mobile coverage issues are down by a massive 49% which is only 20% of their 2010-11 level; complaints about excess data charges have fallen by over 30% in the past year and complaints about unexpected high bills have decreased by 58% – only 17% of their 2010-11 level – highlighting the effectiveness of improved spend management tools such as usage notifications,” Ms Gillespie-Jones said.

“It is very pleasing to see that over 90% of complaints are resolved by service providers without further TIO involvement.”

“Industry is not resting on its laurels and is determined to drive down complaint levels even further in the current year.”

She said that while the increase in complaints about connection delays and faults was relatively small, it is something that requires further analysis and will be watched carefully. One quarter of complaints about connection delays relate to the NBN which is being rolled out at a faster pace with the number of active NBN services having risen by 130% in the past year.


New Members

Communications Alliance is pleased to welcome the following new members:

The Frame Group

www.framegroup.com.au

Frame-Group

An Australian-owned private company with a regional reach, Frame has 13+ years’ experience delivering ICT consulting and technology services. Our focus is on bringing clarity to the business and technology aspects of ICT solutions. That’s because, when it comes to getting the best results for your business, clarity is an advantage.

CiS International

www.cisinternational.com

CiS International

CiS comprises a network of staff, associates and partners providing project management, network design, integration and specialist technical knowledge, working with live ICT networks and delivering solutions in Asia Pacific.

The CiS group comprises a head-quarters in Sydney with a subsidiary in Malaysia, a joint venture in Indonesia and offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta as well as other project offices.


Fulton Hogan

www.fultonhogan.com

Fulton-Hogan

Fulton Hogan has more than 80 years’ experience in the transport, water, energy, mining and land development infrastructure in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific.

Fulton Hogan is diversifying beyond its core business into telecommunications and has won contracts to deliver the National Broadband Network in South Australia and WA.
 

P15K40_OTT_EmailHeader

The Inaugural Australian OTT Summit will examine the rise of Over The Top (OTT) technologies and services in the Australian telecommunications industry in the TV, Messaging and Voice domains and will explore the challenges, opportunities and case studies of their disruption.

18-19 November 2015
Intercontinental Hotel, Sydney, Australia

CA Members are entitled to a 15% discount.  Please log in to the CA Members Area for further details or contact (02) 9959 9111.

Register here


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