ACCAN calls for broadband consumer safeguards

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 24 January, 2019

ACCAN calls for broadband consumer safeguards

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is calling on the government to introduce new safeguards protecting telecommunications consumers’ right to reliable home broadband.

In a submission to the government’s latest Consumer Safeguard Review, ACCAN has argued that a clear framework is needed governing factors including connection and fault restoration of broadband lines.

“Australians are being left in the dark when it comes to their right to reliable home broadband. Without a clear framework that sets out when services should be connected, faults repaired and consumers compensated, there is little transparency for the community and businesses about how essential communications services should be delivered,” ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin said.

“Consumers are confused and frustrated at their limited options when things go wrong and they are left without services and no redress for unacceptably long periods.”

Corbin noted that currently only Telstra home phone customers are provided with regulated guarantees for service availability and repair time frames. ACCAN is calling for these consumer protections to be extended to include fixed-line broadband service from all retail telecoms service providers.

Other recommended reforms include requiring repair times for fixed-line services to be defined in terms of days rather than working days; providing priority repair and connection time frames for vulnerable consumers, such as those with medically diagnosed, life-threatening conditions; and the automatic provision of compensation if providers fail to connect or repair a service within the specified time frame.

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