ACCAN have been advocating for available, accessible and affordable communications in the lead up to the September election, discussing their current policy priority wish list with politicians from all major parties. ACCAN’s election platform includes the following:
Mobile coverage in rural and remote Australia
In the drive towards a National Broadband Network (NBN), mobile coverage has fallen by the wayside and many people in rural and remote Australia can’t even get a signal. ACCAN is calling for a new targeted and strategic approach by government to address the market failure of mobile communications in the bush. Read more
Standards to ensure good quality landline calls
Your regular fixed line phone will effectively become VoIP (phone line delivered over broadband) once the NBN is rolled out, but the current standards ensuring reliability and quality for consumers will not apply to VoIP phones. ACCAN is calling for standards to be put in place to reduce the risk of consumer detriment due to poor quality voice services. Read more
Trustworthy and easy-to-understand information for NBN services
Monitoring and performance reporting of broadband plans against key benchmarks by a neutral agency such as the Australian Communications and Media Authority would ensure consumers have access to trustworthy and easy-to-understand performance measures when choosing an internet provider over the NBN.
Digital engagement in remote Indigenous Australia
Given current low levels of digital literacy and marginal participation in the digital economy by Indigenous Australians, the government’s Indigenous Communications Program needs to be rethought to ensure solutions recognise the broad range of circumstances in communities. It must provide tailored programs to ensure internet access, community engagement, and affordable calls from mobiles for low income consumers in remote communities. Read more
Accessibility for people with disability
ACCAN is advocating for several accessibility measures including: an ICT procurement policy that ensures government will only purchase accessible technologies; a trial of cloud technologies designed for people with disability and older consumers using NBN pilot sites; and funding for minimum audio description services on ABC1 so that blind or vision impaired consumers have better access to television.