COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE URGES ASSESSMENT OF COST AND BENEFITS OF A CONSUMER DATA RIGHT FRAMEWORK IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Sydney, 24 January 2022 – The Federal Government must undertake a regulatory impact assessment of the costs and benefits flowing from its decision today to designate telecommunications as an industry sector that will be subject to the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime.

Communications Alliance said today that the Government has not yet quantified the benefits that it believes will flow to consumers from having a CDR for telecommunications. Many of the claimed benefits to consumers have been delivered through other Government policies, such as greater competition in the mobile sector, number portability, mobile blackspot funding and the $50 billion NBN project. There has been no evidence presented that CDR will add to these policies.

“Modelling undertaken for Government suggests that the costs to industry (and ultimately, largely, consumers) during the first two years of CDR operation could be close to $120 million,” Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said.

The explanatory memorandum for the CDR Bill in 2019 identified the need for a regulation impact statement (RIS) - reflecting the net benefits of designation - to be prepared before a sector is designated. This was in recognition of the need to ensure that policy was measured and appropriate in delivering benefits to consumers, and to shape policy scope to minimise unexpected costs to participants.

“Undertaking this type of assessment would assist the creation of the CDR rules that will underpin the framework.

“It is also vital that industry and other stakeholders be given adequate time and opportunity to engage in the upcoming rule-making process,” Mr Stanton said.

He welcomed the fact that the Government has clarified a number of elements of the regulatory instrument in response to industry consultation on an earlier exposure draft.

Industry still believes, however, that corporate customers should not be captured by the framework.

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
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.

The most influential association in Australian communications, co-operatively initiating programs that promote sustainable industry development, innovation and growth, while generating positive outcomes for customers and society.  To create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour.  For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

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