Issue No 22: 23 August 2021



Hot Topics
  • ACOMMS 2021: 18 November 2021 - Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

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Comment Sought on New Industry Code to Offer Stronger Authentication to Combat Telecommunications Fraud

Communications Alliance is seeking public comment on a new Industry Code designed to strengthen customer authentication in the telecommunications sector, including measures to combat fraud perpetrated via communications services.

The new Code C666:2021 Existing Customer Authentication, will work in concert with other regulatory safeguards, including the Pre-Port Verification Standard and the Reducing Scam Calls Industry Code, to seek to minimise scamming and fraud for all Australian telecommunications users.

The draft code is available for public comment for a period of 30 days.

The Chair of the Communications Alliance Working Committee that drafted the code, Alexander Osborne, said it would provide a common set of principles to ensure that service providers have strong protections in place to authenticate that any request to make changes to a communications service is being made by the customer or their authorised representative.

“The objective is to limit the opportunity for fraudulent activity, in particular any action that could result in the customer losing access to their telecommunications service – for example via an illegal SIM swap or service transfer,” Mr Osborne said.
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said the draft Code also requires service providers to give information to their customers about the authentication solutions that will apply to particular actions associated with the supply of the service.

“Fraud and scam activity is a fast-moving hydra-headed menace and we aim for this new Code – combined with existing industry-led mechanisms around pre-port verification and prevention of scam calls - to provide a holistic approach that will offer better protection to customers,” Mr Stanton said.

The Working Committee will study all of the feedback received during the public comment period before making any consequent amendments to the draft Code and submitting it to the industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), for consideration for registration.

Submission to CDR Sectoral Assessment Telecommunications

Communications Alliance has made a submission in response to the Treasury’s CDR Sectoral Assessment Telecommunications Consultation Paper.
The submission lends its in-principle support for a CDR in the sector but raises concerns with a number of assumptions and proposals put forward in the Paper. The submission:

  • calls on the Government to extend the sectoral assessment process in the telecommunications sector for a period of 6 months. It also urges the Treasury to consult with the sector on the draft report the Treasury will be providing to the Minister prior to submission and publication of that report.
  • notes that that the scope of data holders to which the CDR may apply ought to be confined to those providing a carriage service within the meaning of the Telecommunications Act 1997 but excluding wholesalers.
  • argues that CDR consumers ought to be defined as a single person, family groups or other groups resident at a single address in the data holder’s dataset, and any entity with an Australian Business Number (ABN) and turnover of $3 million per annum or less.
  • seeks clear evidence that the introduction of a CDR in the sector would address any perceived or actual shortcoming and disputes the notion that the sector is lacking competition.
  • rejects the inclusion of quality-of-service, performance of fault data in the data set as either infeasible, impractical, potentially misleading or not being CDR data (e.g. device, network or carrier data) and requests that each data class be subject to a rigorous dynamic cost-benefit analysis.
  • argues that a peer-to-peer access model is unsuitable for the sector due to the large number of very small providers. Instead, a direct access model, e.g. through an app that provides the consumer with CDR data (and potentially device data), ought to be explored as a more direct and achievable model for the telecommunications sector. It is argued that all sectors that have not proven to require a highly customised CDR and that do not already provide read access to data ought to be considered for a ‘default’ low cost/fast implementation approach to the CDR.

The ACMA is Planning its Work program for Frequency Coordination Requirements

The Communications Alliance Satellite Services Working Group has provided feedback on a draft work program for the ACMA’s frequency coordination requirements planned for 2021-22.

The ACMA develops Radiocommunications Assignment and Licensing Instructions (RALIs) for the industry, which provide rules to licence and coordinate frequencies between services in a band. These Rules assist in avoiding interference between services using the radiofrequency spectrum.

Our submission highlights RALIs of interest to the satellite sector, frequency bands of particular importance to our sector and where the SSWG wishes to be involved in future reviews of particular RALIs.

Launch of .au direct on 24 March 2022

From this date, Australians will be able to register domain names directly before the .au, such as getyour.au. The new namespace will:

  • Create a wider choice of available names for website and email addresses in the trusted Australian domain
  • Provide users with the opportunity to register shorter, more memorable domain names for website and email addresses
  • Provide website and email addresses that are easier to type and display on mobile devices.
The introduction of .au direct is the result of significant public consultation conducted in 2015, 2018 and 2019, and will bring Australia in line with many other country code Top Level Domains including the United Kingdom (.uk), Canada (.ca), the USA (.us) and New Zealand (.nz).

More information is available on the auDA website.

Current Consultations

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.

ConsultationOrganisationClosing Date
Basic Online Safety Expectations Draft Determination
Regional Telecommunications ReviewRTIRC30/09/2021
Strengthening Cyber Security Regulations IncentivesDepartment of Home Affairs27/09/2021
Restricted Access SystemeSafety Commissioner12/09/2021
Age verification call for evidence
eSafety Commissioner10/09/2021
Wholesale ADSL Service Declaration InquiryACCC10/09/2021
Consumer Vulnerability: Expectations for the Telco IndustryACMA08/09/2021
Peri-Urban Mobility Program Draft Funding GuidelinesDITRDC

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Contact Tel: (61) 2 9959 9111