Issue No 3: 16 February 2021



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SAVE THE DATE! - ACOMMS 2021 - 18 August 2021



Telcos Record Improved Performance in Latest Complaints in Context Report

Communications Alliance released its Complaints in Context report for the October – December 2020 quarter, showing a drop in complaint rates for a majority of participants.

The report details the complaints received by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) per 10,000 Services in Operation (SIO) for participating service providers for each quarter. This index allows comparison of the customer service and complaint handing performance of providers, regardless of their size.

For all participating service provider's results combined, there were 7.0 complaints per 10,000 SIOs. In other words, roughly one in every 1430 services in operation during the period was the subject of a complaint to the TIO. As report participants change each year for the October – December quarter, this ratio is not directly comparable to previous quarters.

Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said: “The decrease in complaint rates for most participants reflects the hard work by all of industry to improve customer service. This aligns with the 11.2% drop in all complaints received by the TIO for this quarter, reported last week.”

“When considering data points such as complaints, it is important to keep in mind the constant growth in the number of services in operation by telcos in Australia. Industry is pleased to provide this report, which adds that important context,” Mr Stanton concluded.

The industry-driven report is published by Communications Alliance, using complaints data provided by the TIO and SIO data supplied by participating providers. Per the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code, the participants were updated this quarter to reflect the top 10 complaint recipients in the most recent TIO Annual Report, in addition to voluntary participants.

Communications Alliance encourages any RSP interested in joining the index to contact them.

Keeping the Suite of Communications Alliance Codes Refreshed

Communications Alliance periodically reviews each of its Codes and Guidelines that are being used by our sector to ensure that they remain contemporary and relevant. An invitation is now being extended in relation to the Codes listed below, to see if are satisfactorily meeting the needs of industry and the community, if there are any identified issues, improvements, gaps or clarifications that may be needed.


Specifies the minimum requirements to manage Customer and Network faults across networks.

Specifies the minimum arrangements and timing in relation to the delivery of pre-selection.

This Code provides an operational framework for the ordering and providing of broadband services and the transfer of customers.

The Codes can be downloaded from here.

Further information can be found on the Documents under review webpage. All submissions are due by 5 p.m. on Friday 12th March 2021. Submissions received will be made publicly available on the Communications Alliance website unless the submitter requests otherwise.

Communications Alliance Submission to the Exposure Draft of the Online Safety Bill 2020

Communications Alliance has made a submission in response to the Exposure Draft of the Online Safety Bill 2020. Among other issues, the submission discusses the following matters:

  • how to effect broad behavioural change and the use of end-user notices;
  • the short timeframe proposed for the registration of industry codes;
  • concerns caused by the broad range of services in scope;
  • practical limitations around 24-hour blocking/removal timeframes;
  • definitional issues in relation to cyber-abuse material targeted at an Australian adult and in relation to abhorrent violent material;
  • limitation of liability for voluntary action;
  • governance, transparency and reporting arrangements; and
  • deletion and cessation of services.

ACMA Report Shows Telcos Supporting Customers in Financial Hardship

Last week, the ACMA released a report on financial hardship arrangements provided by telcos to support customers.

In the announcement, ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said that “Generally, telcos appear to be supporting small business customers by keeping them connected to vital telecommunications services and offering assistance in the form of changing plans, debt waivers and alternative repayment arrangements,” and that the report showed many positive outcomes.

Retail Service Providers are required by the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code to have assistance options available for all residential and small business customers experiencing financial hardship. Communications Alliance encourages anyone facing financial challenges to contact their telco to discuss support options.

Supporting the Developing Australian Space Industry

Communications Alliance has provided a response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources’ inquiry into and report on developing Australia's space industry. We acknowledged Australia’s rapidly growing space sector, noting its importance as a part of Australia’s economic future and its importance in supporting our national and security interests. We also recognised the key role that the Australian Space Agency has  been established for, to foster and promote Australia’s developing space industry. Our Satellite Services Working Group continues to make its capability available and to offer its support to the Agency, as its monitors and participates in the evolving Australian space sector.

Making Communications Infrastructure Available in Australia's External Territories

Communications Alliance has provided a response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories’ inquiry into and report on the availability of and access to enabling communications infrastructure in Australia's external territories. We support the Committee’s examination of the current communications situation in the Australia’s external territories, noting their focus on activities to enhance connectivity and services, and the options and opportunities for improving availability of and access to communications infrastructure. The satellite services industry has advanced considerably in its technological capabilities over the last decade, providing satellite systems that are a natural enabler in the remote environment of external territories which can minimise the disadvantages of distance and lack of inclusion.

Keeping the Foreign and Australian Space Objects Determination Fresh

The Communications Alliance Satellite Services Working Group provided a submission on the ACMA consultation on updating the Foreign Space Objects and the Australian Space Objects Determinations. These updates allow new entrants in the satellite space to access frequency for their services. Being listed in the Determinations is the first step before their satellite networks can be licensed to operate in specific shared satellite radiofrequency bands. The SSWG supported the proposed changes.

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