- Australian Communications and Media Authority said that the regulator expects to cast a closer eye over telco services sold to small businesses.
- ACMA’s compliance priorities is focused on small businesses’ concerns about telcos being uncontactable, as well as delays in complaints handling.
- ACMA would also continue to address telephone scams, with a focus on the new rules to identify, trace and block scam calls.
Nerida O’Loughlin, Australian Communications, and Media Authority chair, said that the regulator expects to cast a closer eye over telco services sold to small businesses. During the CommsDay Summit 2021, the chair announced the ACMA’s compliance priorities for 2021-22. This included a focus on small businesses’ concerns about telcos being uncontactable, as well as delays in complaints handling.
There is a keen interest in service delivery to small businesses because these businesses comprise a significant portion of the customer base of various telcos. “When we look at small business interactions with their telecommunications providers, the ACMA considers efficient and effective handling of complaints can be an important indicator of how well the telco sector is working for the business,” she said. “And based on research from both the TIO and the ACMA, our view is that Australian businesses could be better served,” she further added.
ACMA would also continue to address telephone scams, with a focus on the new rules to identify, trace and block scam calls. The regulator is also set to keep a keen eye on sales practices involving vulnerable consumers, with the regulator preparing to issue a report on the issue later this month. Alongside this, other key compliance priorities are unsolicited financial services marketing communications, 5G EME, which she noted is “an area of ongoing community interest”, and the ACMA’s ongoing offensive against illegal online gambling services.
“But I will emphasise that in identifying specific compliance priorities, the ACMA has no intention of taking our eye off the ball on other matters,” she added.
The ACMA chair also highlighted elements of the regulator’s spectrum management program for the year ahead. This includes ACMA’s intention to conduct a second round of apparatus licensing for the spectrum remaining in the 26GHz band after the recent auction. “These bands have been configured for a range of uses, including wireless broadband, satellite, and the Internet of Things,” O’Loughlin said.
The chair also noted the current consultation on the 6GHz band, including its possible use for WiFi 6 deployments. She also discussed the regulator’s initial investigations of the 1880-1920MHz band – “noting increasing interest in a more apparatus-licensed spectrum for fixed and mobile wireless broadband use” – and the 600MHz band, informed by the ongoing government Green Paper process.
“And finally, we are also looking to identify replanning considerations for the 1.5GHz band and Extended Mobile Satellite Services L-Band, where support for new technologies and private networks will also be a consideration,” O’Loughlin said.