Industry body, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), has welcomed the appointment of Mitch Fifield to the role of communications minister in Malcolm Turnbull’s new ministry.
ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin, said as the peak organisation representing consumers and small business on telecommunications, it is looking forward to engaging with Fifield on important issues that affect users.
“We are pleased that the 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,” she said.
Corbin highlighted the establishment of the Digital Transformation Office as an example. According to her, it is a great opportunity to showcase Australia as a world leader and ensure government services are even more accessible as they move online.
“We are looking forward to helping ensure this initiative works to overcome any barriers for those unable to use or access the Internet,” she said.
She also indicated the future of communications services is in high-speed broadband and the nbn, but wants to make sure no consumer is left behind and adequate safety protections are in place for the services that consumers use.
“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.”
The government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme has been a much lauded initiative by communications consumers, especially those in remote and regional areas.
Corbin indicated it has welcomed the increased funding of the second round of the programme as a win for consumers and it encourages on-going support and expansion of the programme. She also said that 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,” she added.