Calls for Telco Retail Registration Scheme

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Supported by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), the Australian Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is calling for the registration of all telecommunication providers in Australia for the benefit of all consumers, regulators, and providers.

From ACCAN media release (03/03/2023):

The Australian Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is calling for the development of a retail registration scheme for telco providers which will give the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) greater visibility over the industry.

ACCAN wants to see the creation of an up-to-date register of providers, to improve the visibility of market participants. Creation of a register will benefit consumers, regulators and services providing by providing a trusted and central source of information that consumers can use to contact their telco.

“Introducing a registration requirement will help to keep out any providers who are not seeking to genuinely participate in the telecommunications market. By stopping these individuals and businesses from entering the market we can protect consumers from scam operators and support genuine telcos by levelling the playing field,” said ACCAN’s CEO, Andrew Williams.

Carriage Service Providers (CSP) in Australia do not currently need to register or apply for a licence to sell services before entering the telecommunications market. Without minimum standards for market entry, it is difficult to prevent non-compliance and consumer detriment before it occurs.  

“Instead, there are now multiple, incomplete industry and government lists. We believe that this proposal provides an opportunity to simplify and strengthen protections for consumers, while getting rid of unnecessary duplication and cost for industry,” said Mr. Williams. 

Centralised information on market participants will reduce the resource burden of compliance and enforcement action whilst having minimal cost impost or administrative burden on CSPs.