Internet

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“Significant changes have occurred since the ACCC last examined search services in 2021. We’ve seen new laws introduced overseas that place obligations on so-called gatekeeper search engines and the emergence of new technologies, like generative AI, that have changed the way consumers search for information online and may be impacting the quality of the service they are receiving,”

Read More ACCC to Examine Internet Search Services for Five Year Inquiry

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Original media release by and from the ACCC (12/03/2024). Australians on broadband plans provided by non-NBN fixed-line networks should benefit from more stable pricing and greater competition between retailers, following the ACCC’s decision to make a final wholesale access determination for the declared superfast broadband access service (SBAS). TPG and Uniti Group Limited (Uniti) are the two…

Read More ACCC Broadband Network Wholesale Access Regulations a Win for Consumers and Competition

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9 out of 10 Australians also support strong penalties for digital platforms who fail to detect and prevent scams.

“Tech giants such as Facebook, Instagram and Google are failing to prevent scammers from using their platforms to target victims, causing enormous amounts of harm to consumers globally. In Australia, losses reported to Scamwatch from scams on social media have increased to over $66 million in 2023, an increase of more than 40% on the same time period in 2022,” says CHOICE Senior Campaigns and Policy Adviser, Alex Soderlund. 

Read More Global Consumer Alliance Urges Governments to Require Tech Companies to Protect People from Scams

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The current USO only provides consumers with a right to a standard telephone service. A standard telephone service refers to a landline (home phone) connection many of us grew up with, and must provide access to local, national and international calls, untimed local calls, and free access to emergency service numbers.

These services are essential, and for many individuals residing in regional, rural, and remote areas they are a reliable and trusted lifeline during natural disasters and emergencies.

However, communications technology and public expectations have changed since the USO was introduced, and USO reform may provide opportunities to get a better deal for consumers and ensure more reliable and robust services.

Read More Universal Service Obligations – Have Your Say in the Future of Communication

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Digital platforms with significant market power can use practices like bundling or tying of products, pre-installation and default settings to limit customer choice or deter innovation from competitors.
“Australians increasingly use digital platforms for work, study and play and can benefit from their wide range of interconnected products and services. While the size and scale of digital platforms alone does not raise concern, there is a risk that this expansion may be driven by a desire from digital platforms to entrench or extend their market power,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.

Read More Expansion of Digital Platforms Demonstrates “critical need for regulatory reform”

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Original media release by CALC (24/11/2023). Consumer Action Law Centre has welcomed the scams safe accord announced by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) which has involved, for the first time, member banks joining forces and agreeing on key steps to enhance scams protections for Australian banking customers. “We are…

Read More Banking Industry Announces First Big Step in Addressing Scams

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“eSafety and indeed the wider community, expect that all online services, should be taking all reasonable steps to prevent their services from being used to store, share and distribute this horrific content and that’s what these standards are intended to achieve.”

Read More Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Opens Draft Industry Standards to Public Consultation

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From the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) media release (31/05/2023): The ACCC has today commenced a combined public inquiry into whether nine wholesale telecommunications services that support the provision of broadband, voice and data transmission services should continue to be regulated. Access to telecommunications services in Australia is usually unregulated unless the services are…

Read More ACCC Inquiry into Telco Regulation Begins