The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued the first round of infringement notices to telcos who have broken new rules requiring businesses to assist customers moving over to the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The infringing telcos, Activ8me, Aussie Broadband, Flip TV, Hello Broadband, Mate Communicate, My Net Fone and Telechoice, were found to have failed to comply with the Telecommunications (NBN Consumer Information) Industry Standard 2018.
Fiona Cameron, authority member at ACMA said the Standard requires telcos to present their NBN plans clearly with meaningful information in a single page key facts sheet as well as in any advertising.
They are also required to conduct a line test to check customers’ NBN service is working after installation, existing copper line connection cane deliver the maximum speed advertised in their chosen plan and to offer any additional services to customers where their new NBN connection is unable to be used and cannot be fixed within three days.
Cameron said failing to give clear information about NBN plans is “unacceptable and can lead to misleading conduct,” which was revealed in a report released by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in early August.
“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.
'These financial penalties send a strong message to telcos that they need to comply with the rules.”
Cameron added that making sure telcos adhere to the Standard is a priority for the ACMA in 2019-20, claiming the first round of infringement notices is proof the authority intends to enforce the Standard.
“Telcos have had ample time to familiarise themselves and ensure compliance with the NBN rules,” Cameron said.
“Failure to comply in this late stage of the NBN rollout is not acceptable and warranted stronger action.”
Other priorities for the ACMA this financial year include looking into small cell base stations for 4G and 5G, cutting back on unsolicited communications from marketers, differentiating between advertising and news, ensuring unlicensed operations and devices comply with interference rules, and cracking down on gambling services located both in Australia and offshore.