Have your say on telecommunications services

A new consultation paper with proposals for modern reliability safeguards for telco services in Australia has been released as part of the Federal Government’s ongoing Consumer Safeguards Review.

The three-part review, announced in April 2018, examines how to better protect telco customers in a landscape that has seen massive change over the last two decades. The Federal Government is currently consulting on Part B of the review: Reliability of Services.

Part B of the Review is based on the fundamental principle that all Australians should be able to connect to, and stay connected to, a reliable fixed service. 

Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield said broadband is now considered as essential as electricity or water.

“Consumers expect to get connected and stay connected, and if something goes wrong, it needs to be fixed and fixed quickly,” he said.

Input is being sought on a number of proposals designed to improve the reliability of fixed voice and broadband services, including:

  • New rules enforcing maximum timeframes for connections and repairs and encouraging telco providers to keep the connection and repair appointments they make
  • Requirements to focus on keeping consumers connected to a service if maximum timeframes cannot be met
  • Requirements for network operators to publish reliability metrics to help consumers make informed decisions.

The full report and recommendations from Part A (redress and complaints handling), and the Part B discussion paper (service reliability) are available at: www.communications.gov.au/consumer-safeguards-review

Feedback can be provided by 21 December 2018 through the Have Your Say webpage.