Friday, 21 September 2018 12:56

ACMA seeks public input to telecoms industry infringement rules

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The telecommunications industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, wants to change the rules governing the industry to allow it to issue infringement notices for contraventions of the Service Migration Determination regulating consumer moves to the national broadband network.

Infringements of the rules governing the telecommunication industry are under review by the ACMA, and on Friday the Authority issued a notice seeking public submissions on the draft amendment of the infringement provisions.

The announcement by the ACMA on infringements coincides with the Authority’s final rules to improve the experience of consumers who move over to the national broadband network taking effect from Friday.

As reported by iTWire, the rules carry penalties of up to $10 million for offenders.

The Service Migration Determination applies to telcos, both retail and wholesale, and is designed to ensure that consumers aren't left without a working telecommunications service when a problem arises during their move to the NBN, and that their NBN service will work as promised.

Under current rules on infringements, the ACMA is able to issue infringement notices for contraventions of:

  • The Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints Handling) Industry Standard 2018;
  • The Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints) Record-Keeping Rules 2018;
  • The Telecommunications (NBN Continuity of Service) Industry Standard 2018; and
  • The Telecommunications (NBN Consumer Information) Industry Standard 2018.

However, in its notice on infringements — seeking feedback on the proposed Telecommunications (Listed Infringement Notice Provisions) Amendment Declaration 2018 — the ACMA says it is not currently open to the Authority to issue infringement notices for contraventions of the Service Migration Determination governing consumer moves to the NBN.

“So that a consistent range of remedies are available for each of the new instruments, the draft Amendment will vary the declaration to list relevant provisions of the Service Migration determination,” the ACMA says.

“This will enable the ACMA to issue infringement notices for contraventions of the listed provisions of the Service Migration Determination, from three months after the date on which they are listed.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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