Tuesday, 06 August 2019 09:20

ACMA hits telcos with $88,200 in penalties for infringing NBN consumer rules Featured

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ACMA hits telcos with $88,200 in penalties for infringing NBN consumer rules Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Seven of Australia’s telcommunications service providers have paid a total of $82,200 in penalties for failing to comply with the Telecommunications (NBN Consumer Information) Industry Standard, with the telecommunications regulator issuing its first infringement notices since the rules came into force in September last year.

Following investigations by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) telcos Activ8me, Aussie Broadband, Flip TV, Hello Broadband, Mate Communicate, My Net Fone and Telechoice were ordered to pay the penalties.

The infringement notices were issued under rules designed to ensure telcos provide consumers with adequate information about their National Broadband Network (NBN) services.

ACMA Authority Member Fiona Cameron said, “Our Standard requires telcos to provide clear and meaningful information about their NBN plans in one-page key facts sheet and in their advertising.”

“Failing to give consumers clear and honest information about NBN plans is unacceptable and can lead to misleading conduct as recently highlighted by the recent Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s report.

“Telcos need to provide information that will assist consumers to choose an NBN plan that suits their needs and if they don’t they will be held to account”.

Cameron said the financial penalties send a “strong message to telcos that they need to comply with the rules”.

The Standard forms part of a broader suite of rules made by the ACMA in 2018 designed to significantly improve consumers’ experiences when migrating to the NBN.

“Ensuring compliance with the rules helping consumers moving to the NBN is a priority for the ACMA in 2019−20 and today’s infringement notices demonstrate that they will be enforced,” Cameron said.

“Telcos have had ample time to familiarise themselves and ensure compliance with the NBN rules.

“Failure to comply in this late stage of the NBN rollout is not acceptable and warranted stronger action.”

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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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