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Australia – Consumer Shift Highlights ACMA’s Year.

27 October, 2012

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Australia – TMT

 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Annual report 2011–12 was tabled in parliament on 15 October 2012. A key theme to come out of the report was a major shift towards better consumer experiences in the telecommunications industry.

 

New developments over the past 12 months that are discussed in the report include:

 

  • Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code — a culmination of the Reconnecting the Customer public inquiry that began in 2010. The new code came into effect on 1 September.
  • Mobile Premium Services (MPS) Industry Code — which came into effect on 1 June 2012, creating new protections for people using premium SMS and MMS. Mobile service providers must now report quarterly to the ACMA on the results of their marketplace compliance monitoring.
  • The cybersafety program – which was expanded during the year, with new resources added to the existing suite of cybersafety material for young people.
  • ACMA’s coordination role for the NBN implementation, which continued to emerge throughout the year.

 

The report reveals that the number of complaints about mobile premium services recorded by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman fell by around 85% from their peak of almost 10,000 in the September 2008 quarter to just over 1,470 in the June 2012 quarter. However the number of complaints from the public about spam increased 622% to a record high of 226,816 during the year (a significant proportion of these complaints were about the same businesses).

 

The report also discusses how developments such as cloud computing, virtualisation, machine-to-machine communication and semantic networks will call for ever more agile and adaptive modes of regulation.  

 

To view the annual report: click here.

 

 

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