Sydney, 29 July 2020 – Communications Alliance welcomed today’s TIO report showing that telecommunications providers adapted quickly to keep Australians connected through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global pandemic had drastic impacts on the telecommunications industry, including higher levels of demand than previously seen and shut-downs of contact/customer service and operational centres – both in Australia and overseas.

Despite this and some resultant initial disruption to contact channels and for some customer interactions, as outlined in the report, overall complaints to the TIO have not increased significantly overall.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said “The industry responded well to an unprecedented event.

“Service providers stepped up to support customers, putting measures and special benefits in place to ensure all Australians – particularly vulnerable customers and those in financial hardship – could stay connected.

“Network dimensions and capabilities were quickly adapted to meet fundamental shifts in the patterns of demand as Australians increasingly used their home connections throughout the day to live, learn and work.

“We regret that some consumers had difficulty contacting their providers during the initial phase, but hope all Australians understand that telcos – like providers in so many industry sectors – are working hard to meet customer needs during difficult times.”

“We understand that telecommunications services are essential to Australians – moreso now than ever. Keeping Australians connected – including those who may be facing difficulty paying their bills – has been a key priority for providers throughout the crisis. In addition to the financial hardship options and protections always available to consumers, Industry and Government issued principles on hardship provisions,” continued Stanton.

Communications Alliance has provided information on the impact on networks and advice to customers – including the importance of using tools such as self-help and chat to contact their providers – in the updated Keeping Australians Connected package.

If customers are facing any financial challenges, they are encouraged to check their providers website for information on financial hardship support.
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to  provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead  it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and  services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of  consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Kurt Graham kgraham@sefiani.com.au
0431 478 558