Submissions sought to modernise telco consumer safeguards
The Australian Government has begun consultation on the third and final paper of its Consumer Safeguards Review, designed to modernise consumer safeguards for telecommunications services.
The paper sets out four proposals to improve choice and fairness for consumers and to prepare the telco industry for an operating environment with ubiquitous nbn coverage.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher welcomes submissions on how to modernise telco rules and regulations from all interested stakeholders.
“The existing telecommunications consumer safeguards were largely designed for voice services delivered over the copper telephone network. Today we have a vastly different telco landscape, with the nbn available to 99% of homes and businesses in Australia,” Minister Fletcher said.
“For example, 51% of Australian adults were mobile-only for voice calls as at June 2019, up from 27% in 2014. 79% of 25- to 34-year-olds rely on mobiles for all voice calls. Australians are using technology in different ways, so we need to make sure the appropriate and necessary regulations are in place.
“We will also consider areas that consumer experience tells us could work better, including sales, customer service and financial hardship.”
The paper considers options to supplement the Australian Consumer Law, and to incentivise and enforce industry compliance.
It also seeks submissions relating to the copper phone network, as this legacy infrastructure is progressively replaced by the nbn, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and consumers using their mobile phones.
“The government is committed to delivering fit-for-purpose telco regulations that meet the evolving needs of consumers and we welcome submissions to this consultation,” Minister Fletcher concluded.
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