The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is Australia’s peak body for consumer representation in communications. ACCAN represents residential consumers and small businesses including not-for profit organisations in so far as they are consumers. ACCAN focuses on goods and services encompassed by the converging areas of telecommunications, the internet and broadcasting, including both current and emerging technologies.
ACCAN aims to empower consumers to make good choices about products and services. As a peak body, ACCAN will represent the views of its broad and diverse membership base to policy makers, government and industry to get a better outcome for all communications consumers. Member groups include community legal centres, disability advocates, indigenous organisations, financial counsellors, regional organisations, farmers’ federations, parents groups, seniors organisations and other individual members.
The operation of ACCAN is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.
ACCAN administers a Grant Scheme as part of its funding agreement with the Commonwealth Department of Communications. The aims of the Scheme are to support consumer research and representation that is aligned with ACCAN’s strategic plan.
ACCAN’s Broadband Future Policy Position
ACCAN ‘s Broadband Future Policy Position rests on four key principles:
- Broadband for all.
- No consumer should be worse off during the transition and following the implementation of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
- Robust consumer protections and consumer engagement.
- Sustaining a competitive and fair market.
The 2014 update to ACCAN’s Broadband Future Policy Position emphasises how important broadband has become to everyone’s social and economic opportunities and how our economy as a whole will benefit from ensuring quality mobile as well as fixed infrastructure, and ensuring everyone has the access they need – whether that be on a PC, a tablet, a smartphone or some other device yet to be discovered.