Friday, 24 March 2017 12:03

Revised telco industry codes to speed up broadband connections: ACMA Featured

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Revised telco industry codes to speed up broadband connections: ACMA Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The telecommunications industry code that addresses a number of the sources of customer dissatisfaction with phone connection delays has been revised to now cover broadband services, including the NBN.

Under the changes to the nine-year old Connect Outstanding Industry Code, telecommunications service providers will gain access to improved and more efficient measures to connect a customer’s broadband or telephone service in situations where a previous occupant has not cancelled their existing service.

The code has been revised so that, in addition to standard telephone services, it also covers broadband access services and includes connect outstanding issues that arise with the NBN.

Industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has now registered a new version of the Communications Alliance's Connect Outstanding Industry Code.

Compliance with a registered code is voluntary but, if necessary, the ACMA has the power to ensure compliance by issuing formal warnings or directing industry participants to comply with a code.

CA says the new Code, which replaces an earlier 2005 version, makes it easier to provide rapid connection for new occupants of a home or business address who find that the previous service has not been cancelled.

“There are few things more frustrating than moving into a new home or business and finding trouble getting connected due to the carelessness of others,” said Communications Alliance chief executive John Stanton.

“This revised Code is a welcome piece of progress that will help avoid future inconvenience for thousands of Australian individuals and businesses.”

Acting ACMA chairman, Richard Bean, says any residential or small business consumer who moves premises could potentially encounter a "connect outstanding” scenario.

“The expansion of the code to cover fixed broadband connections means all consumers — whether they are using fixed-line, fixed-wireless or satellite-based infrastructure — benefit from the timely connection of phone and broadband services that the revised code will achieve.”

Bean says there are more than 90,000 connect outstanding situations managed by phone companies each year and, prior to the introduction of the code, these situations often resulted in long delays if the phone company was unable to locate or contact the previous occupant to confirm cancellation of the service.

The ACMA has also registered a newly developed Industry Code — the NBN Access Transfer Code — which gives industry clear responsibilities to ensure customers have a choice of service providers and the ability to move between them transparently on the National Broadband Network.

The new Code gives customers freedom of choice over which service provider they wish to choose to provide their service.

CA says the new code is pro-competitive, because all participants to the Code are required to comply with and follow the same processes.

CA’s Stanton says of special note to industry is the requirement in both codes — the Connect Outstanding Industry Code and the NBN Access Transfer Code — for the provision of service provider contact details to be logged on a secure contact matrix maintained by Communications Alliance.

“The use of the matrices will assist industry in resolving any customer authorisation queries or fault issues in a timely manner,” he says.

To access copies of the two codes click here.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a 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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