Feeds

Telcos to shape up under new code

Comms Alliance lays down the law

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Australian carriers, voice services and ISPs will be forced to take their obligations to the rights of consumers seriously under a new revised consumer code from industry group, the Communications Alliance.

The new Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code has been submitted to the Australian Communications and Media Authority for approval.

Changes to the voluntary code include unit pricing for calls, SMS messages, and data to make it easier to compare plans, tighter deadlines for operators to resolve complaints, stronger restrictions on advertising content, better pre-sales information, spend management tools, a new independent body - Communications Compliance - to monitor the performance of service providers in complying with the Code rules, stronger protection for customers concerning credit and debt management, and new obligations on suppliers in relation to vulnerable customers and meeting customers' needs.

Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton acknowledged that new requirements such as customer spending notifications may prove too onerous for fledgling providers.

“There will be some players in the industry who might decide to sell their business rather than invest in putting this into place. That’s also why we provided a period of 24 months for the industry to put that into place: it’s no trivial undertaking, if you are a small ISP in a country town, to realize that you have to make these investments,” he said.

The original draft proposal had only applied customer spend notifications to data; this proposal extends it to voice and SMS.

Another key part of the revision includes improved product information provided to customers in pre-sale – called the “Plan Essentials” which is a summary that will help consumers understand products.

“Many complaints that come to providers or the TIO happen because consumers don’t understand all aspects of the product they’ve purchased,” Stanton said.

In other moves, while the ACMA had asked for one-minute calls to be the standard unit. The Communications Alliance has stuck with two minute calls because they believe these are more representative of "real" call duration. The process of revising the Code included strong and collaborative involvement of key stakeholders, including consumer groups such as the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), industry representatives, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) and the ACMA itself. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.