Monday, 21 September 2015 14:24

ACCAN welcomes Sen Mitch Fifield as new Comms Minister


ACCAN, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network has welcomed the appointment of Senator Mitch Fifield as Comms Minister and looks forward to working with him.

ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin, said: “As the peak organisation representing consumers and small business on telecommunications, we’re looking forward to engaging with Minister Fifield on important issues that affect users.

“We are pleased that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for Australia to embrace the future and use digital disruption to our advantage. As a nation of early technology adopters, Australian consumers are keener than ever to join in and benefit from innovations that deliver better, more affordable and accessible communications choices.”

ACCAN points to ‘the establishment of the Digital Transformation Office’ being an excellent example of a ’great opportunity to be a world leader and ensure Government services are even more accessible as they move online.’

Corbin adds that ACCAN is ‘looking forward to helping ensure this initiative works to overcome any barriers for those unable to use or access the internet.’

Noting that ‘the future of communications services is in high-speed broadband and the National Broadband Network (NBN),’ Corbin makes is clear ‘we want to make sure no consumer is left behind and adequate safety protections are in place for the services that consumers use.’

Corbin added: “The rollout of the NBN is vital for many consumers who are poorly served when it comes to data communications services. ACCAN welcomes the soon to be released NBN rollout map and satellite launch, however, we are concerned for consumers who will still be waiting a long time for services to be put in place on the ground.”

Then there’s the Mobile Black Spot Programme which ‘has been a much lauded initiative by communications consumers, especially those in remote and regional areas.’

ACCAN has ‘welcomed the increased funding of the second round of the Programme as a win for consumers and we encourage on-going support and expansion of the Programme.’

In addition, ACCAN recently ‘started looking at the future of the Universal Service Obligation and whether it still meets consumer needs. We look forward to continuing the discussion on this topic with the new Minister for Communications.’

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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