ACMA enforces new rules to ease NBN migration pain

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) says it has set out its ‘Compliance and enforcement – statement of approach’ for new rules providing regulatory safeguards for consumers moving to services delivered over the NBN.

The new rules require telcos to help consumers get the information they need to make informed choices, have service options if issues arise, and address consumer complaints effectively and in a timely manner.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the time-critical nature of the NBN rollout means that early and consistent industry compliance with the new rules is essential.

“The ACMA is putting telcos on notice that they need to fully understand the new rules and take immediate steps to embed them in their business practices,” O’Loughlin said. “As described in our statement of approach, the ACMA has already commenced a targeted program of monitoring, audits and investigations to ensure that industry is complying with the new rules.”

The new rules will be directly enforceable by the ACMA and, where breaches are found, allow the ACMA to commence court proceedings seeking remedies such as injunctions and civil penalties of up to $10 million.

The ACMA also released detailed findings of a new research report that looks at the experiences of households and small and medium-sized businesses moving to and using services delivered over the NBN.

Research conducted from November 2017 to February 2018 asked consumers about their experience of moving to and using services in the previous 12 months. It showed that although most households and businesses had a positive experience, 31% of households and 42% of businesses had made at least one complaint to their telco.

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