Issue No 15 : 19 June 2023



Hot Topics

  • ACOMMS 2023: 27 July 2023 - Hilton Sydney
  • Register here

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Communications Alliance is proud to announce the 2023 finalists in the communications industry's premier awards for excellence, the ACOMMS, which recognise exemplary achievement across 13 categories of endeavour.

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner event on Thursday 27 July culminating in the announcement of the 2023 Communications Ambassador.

Symbio is the 2023 Title Sponsor of the ACOMMS, with .auDA Gold Sponsor, Ericsson, Meta Silver Sponsors, Bird & Bird, and Mirait Bronze Sponsors

The 2023 ACOMM Awards finalists are:

Communications Ambassador
Announced on the night

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Announced on the night

Australian Space Industry Awards   

  • Lockheed Martin Australia - Southern Positioning Augmentation Network
  • Vocus - Vocus Satellite – Starlink  

Best Digital Platform

  • Amplitel - Amplitel Digital Twins Platform
  • CIMET Sales - End-to-end solar white label comparison platform
  • Matchboard - Matchboard
  • NBN Co - Service Health Summary

    Best Mobile Solution

    • Circles Life - Pay What You Want Mobile Plans
    • Silver Trak Digital - 5G Cinema Direct content delivery service   

    Commitment to Customer Service   

    • Aussie Broadband - The Aussie Way
    • felix mobile - Felix customer service team
    • NBN Co - Business nbn Service
    • TPG Telecom/Vodafone Australia - Vodafone TOBi and Speech IVR capabilities

      Contribution to Society

      • Aussie Broadband - Helping Communities Connect
      • Optus - Optus Digital Thumbprint program
      • TPG Telecom - TPG Telecom Foundation funding for Children’s Hosp & Garvan Institute
      • Ventia - The Fitzroy North Community Battery Project

      Cyber Security & Online Safety Innovation

      • IoT Security Trust Mark™ - Certification & Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme (CLS) Security Mark Pty Ltd (T/AS IoT Security Trust Mark™)
      • Fastmail - Fastmail Expands Masked Email – Supports User Privacy Tools

        Diversity and Inclusion

        • NBN Co - Customer Field Technician Traineeship Program by nbn
        • Nokia - Strong’Her Oceania: Closing the gender gap in technology
        • Optus - Pride starts with yes
        • TPG Telecom - The Year of Connection

          Innovation (Large)

          • Optus - Living Network (Network Pulse, Turbocharge & Pause)
          • Symbio - Symbio Enterprise Calling
          • Telstra - Telstra Edge
          • Vocus - Australia’s first 400 Gbps Wavelength Ethernet solution

            Innovation (SME)

            • felix mobile - felix mobile App
            • Meshed - nCounter “People Counting” Solution
            • Speedcast - Speedcast Unified Global Platform (UGP)
            • Thinxtra - T-Tracker

              Services to Industry - Professional Services
              Announced on the night

              Vendor Innovation

              • Ericsson - Ericsson's 5G Access and Network Slicing Innovations in Australia
              • Nokia - Nokia’s Lightspan MF-14 - next-generation fibre technology
                Media Release 

                Regulatory Expert Michael Cosgrave Appointed as Independent Adviser on the TCP Code Review

                Communications Alliance (CA) has announced the appointment of regulatory expert Michael Cosgrave as Independent Adviser (IA) on the revision of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code.

                Mr Cosgrave held senior managerial positions with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for 25 years until August 2021, and was the most senior ACCC official on telecommunications for two decades. More recently, he has provided consultancy and advisory services to both government and corporate clients, with a principal focus being the provision of independent assurance of transparency of process and compliance with the principles of operation. Relevant recent roles include his appointment by the Australian Government to the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee.

                The position of Independent Adviser, (TCP) Code Review, has been established by the Communications Alliance Board of Directors, to actively monitor and provide advice on the TCP Code revision process, and specifically to verify whether it is fair, reasonable and appropriately transparent, in line with specific terms as identified in the TCP Code Review IA Terms of Reference.

                The role includes the ability for the Independent Adviser to directly engage with all stakeholders, including consumer representatives and regulatory agencies, and provide regular reports to the CA Board on the revision process.

                Commenting on the appointment, Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said,

                “We are delighted that Michael has agreed to take on this new and important role.

                “His unquestioned independence and his extensive experience in the telecommunications space while at the ACCC – and since – will bolster the revision process and give additional confidence to stakeholders.”

                The IA will also advise CA management and the Board about concerns and provide suggestions as to how they might be reasonably addressed.

                Finally, the IA will offer a written report to the ACMA at the time that the revised draft Code is submitted to the Authority for consideration for registration, addressing the adequacy of the consultation process, including the manner in which the final drafting addresses key issues identified during the process.

                The TCP Code is a detailed consumer protection instrument, enforceable by the ACMA, that sets minimum customer protection requirements for the direct interactions between service providers and their residential and small business mobile, landline and internet customers. Key areas covered include advertising and sales, service and contracts, billing, credit and debt management, financial hardship and changing suppliers.

                The overarching intent of the Code revision is to ensure that the Code is up-to-date and that it provides fit-for-purpose consumer safeguards. Although all aspects of the Code will be considered, a particular focus will be provisions designed to protect vulnerable consumers; the inclusion in the Code of key clauses from the industry’s substantially revised and strengthened Guideline, G660:2023: Assisting Consumers Affected by Domestic and Family Violence, to make those provisions enforceable, has already been announced.
                The revision will also consider whether appropriate new performance metrics for providers should be incorporated into the Code.

                More information
                Michael Cosgrove’s short biography, along with Terms of Reference for the position of IA and detailed information about the TCP Code review and revision process currently underway, is available on the CA website.

                Comms Alliance Proposes Regulatory Reform Package

                The Communications Alliance Board of Directors has endorsed a package of draft regulatory and legislative reform proposals, designed to improve the telco regulatory framework while preserving the strengths of co-regulation.

                The Board has suggested that the Telecommunications Act 1997 (and other legislation/regulation be amended as necessary) to provide:
                • a new definition for companies who resell services to CSPs or other resellers (i.e., not directly to ‘the public’);
                • an improved requirement for all relevant CSPs (i.e. serving consumers and/or small businesses) to join the TIO scheme;
                • a simple process for all CSPs to be required to be (publicly) registered by the ACMA, under a framework that is not onerous for CSPs (particularly smaller players)
                • all Consumer-related Industry Codes to be directly enforceable - not voluntary in the first instance and thereafter enforceable. ACMA should retain ability to issue formal warnings and to keep afoot previous directions to comply when a Code is revised or replaced.
                The Board also suggested that the ACMA should work with CA and TIO on an annual works program with a view to early engagement on regulatory instruments due for review and that there are shared efforts to ensure all CSPs are aware of their obligations under direct and co-regulatory instruments.
                Directors also proposed that industry and the ACMA commit resources to all steps of the development or review/revision of co-regulatory instruments (where possible) within a defined agreed timeframe.

                Comments Sought on Scheduled Reviews

                Communications Alliance is seeking comments for a scheduled review of the below documents.

                C564:2020 Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment
                The Code is designed to:

                • provide greater transparency to local community and councils when a Carrier is planning, selecting sites for, installing and operating mobile phone radiocommunications infrastructure; and
                • allow the community and councils to have greater participation in the decision-making process of Carriers when deploying mobile phone base stations.

                G591:2006 Telecommunications in Road ReservesOperational Guidelines for Installations provides guidance for Road Authorities and Carriers to manage their respective facilities in road reserves safely, effectively and efficiently. It provides guidance on co-ordination, considerations for positioning telecommunications facilities in road reserves, attachment of telecommunications facilities to road authority structures, planning and sharing information.

                The aim of the review is to identify:

                • any existing issues with the Code / Guideline;
                • whether any process improvement is required, from operational experience in dealing with the Code / Guideline;
                • any gaps in the Code/Guideline;
                • clarifications that improve requirements;
                • whether the document is meeting the needs of industry and the community satisfactorily;
                • acknowledgement of any existing service specific barring requirements; and
                • expected impact of technology changes.

                Comments received will be considered by representatives of stakeholders, to prepare a specific recommendation for Communications Alliance. The outcome of the review will be a decision to revise, reconfirm or withdraw the Code / Guideline.

                Comments on the documents are requested by 5 p.m. (AEST) on Friday 14th July 2023.

                All submissions received may be made publicly available on the Communications Alliance website unless the submitter requests otherwise.

                Updated Requirements to Assist in the Handling of Life Threatening and Unwelcome Communications

                Communications Alliance is pleased to advise the registration of a revised C525:2023 Handling of Life Threatening and Unwelcome Communications industry code. Industry participants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the updated procedures.

                The code provides standard procedures for the cooperative handling (including call tracing) by carriers, carriage service providers and the national relay service provider of communications across networks that are life threatening or connected with a pattern of unwelcome communications. The Code also outlines when carriers, carriage service providers and the national relay service provider can deal with unwelcome call complaints relating to non real-time communications such as SMS, MMS and email.

                The 2023 code revision includes updates to:

                • add additional clarity to the definition of Pattern of Unwelcome Communications and Unwelcome Communications;
                • include a new clause to clarify information sharing when identifying a pattern of Unwelcome Communications from an offender who has moved Suppliers;
                • reduce the time required before sending a second warning letter;
                • consider circumstances for domestic and family violence situations.

                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.

                Organisation/Closing Date

                ACMA - 24/07/2023

                ACMA - 7/07/2023

                DISR - 26/07/2023

                We welcome your feedback on our newsletter.

                Contact Tel: (61) 2 9959 9111