Issue No 3: 9 February 2022



Hot Topics
  • ACOMMS 2021:  Photos here Highlights Video here

rnd-twitter-orange Follow us on Twitter here rnd-facebook-orange Like us on Facebook here rnd-linkedin-orange Follow us on Linkedin here

Public Comment Sought on New Industry Initiative to Combat Scam Text Messages

A strengthened draft Anti-Scam Industry Code - which now targets scam SMS messages as well as phone calls - has been released for public comment by Communications Alliance.

The new provisions build on the existing, enforceable C661 Reducing Scam Calls Code, which was registered in 2020 by the industry regulator, the ACMA. Under the existing Code, industry has already blocked more than 350 million scam calls to Australians and is blocking millions more each month.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said fraudsters had focused more strongly on scam SMS and short messages during the pandemic, partly because of the measures put in place by industry to fight scam calls.

“Scam texts account for around 20% of all network-based scam activity and these new tools will help service providers fight what is a distressful scourge on Australian consumers.

“This type of fraud may see consumers being asked to click on a link or call back a 1800 number. With more consumers having worked from home and receiving home deliveries, scammers have taken to sending messages impersonating messages from delivery companies and enticing consumers to click on fraudulent web links.

“We’ve all received them – they are annoying, but also dangerous if the consumer falls for the ruse” he said.

The revised Code features improved tracing and reporting measures, along with a new section dealing with the identification, tracing, and blocking of numbers associated with SMS Scams.

The Code continues to provide a framework for co-operation and information-sharing among telecommunications service providers, that assists in the identification of scammers, so that blocking and enforcement action can more easily be taken.

The draft Code will remain open for public comment until 11 March 2022, after which all the comments and feedback received will be assessed as part of the process of producing a final draft Code and submitting this to the ACMA for consideration for registration.

Australian Consumer Law and Mandatory Standards Regulation

Communications Alliance has provided a submission in response to the Australian Government’s consultation on supporting business through improvements to mandatory standards regulation under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Amendments to the ACL are being proposed to improve the regulatory framework for mandatory safety and information standards which set out requirements for consumer goods and product related services supplied in Australia, including to broaden the policy options for developing mandatory standards by making it easier to recognise trusted voluntary overseas standards. Efficiencies in updating voluntary Australian and overseas standards are also being considered, with the intention to provide businesses with greater flexibility in meeting compliance obligations and reducing compliance costs under the ACL.

Communications Alliance considers of the options being presented that Option 3, to allow businesses to comply with the latest versions of voluntary Australian and overseas Standards and implementation of safe harbour provisions, is the most practical approach. We are also suggesting that developing mandatory Standards under the ACL should be seen as a mechanism to be employed as a last resort, in situations where specific regulatory arrangements are not in place or where industry self-regulation is unable to provide the desired consumer protections. Communications Alliance promotes, to the greatest extent possible, industry self/co-regulation for customer equipment and urges caution when considering the use of Ministerial Declarations for overseas Standards.

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
Replanning the 2 GHz band: Review of the 2 GHz Television Outside Broadcast Frequency Band PlanACMA14/02/2022
Broadband Speeds Claim Industry Guidance (Guidance)DoHA25/02/2022
Implementation of Parliamentary Committee and Auditor-General Recommendations - Department of Home AffairsDoHA27/02/2022
Review of fibre-ready facilities exemptions under Part 20A of the Telecommunications Act 1997
Exploring the future use of the 1.9 GHz bandACMA
Reform of Australia’s electronic surveillance framework discussion paperDoHA

We welcome your feedback on our newsletter.

Contact Tel: (61) 2 9959 9111