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Help for the Helplines - handling unwelcome calls

The ACMA has registered a revision of the Handling of Life Threatening and Unwelcome Communications Code –an industry code, developed under the auspices of Communications Alliance - which regulates the handling of unwelcome and harassing calls.

The revised code now includes arrangements for service providers to suspend services to people who repeatedly make unwelcome calls - including harassing, offensive or nuisance calls – to helplines such as Lifeline. Such callers will in the first instance receive a warning but if the warning is ignored, service providers will now be able to take action to suspend a service.

Unfortunately, helplines, such as Lifeline which is staffed primarily by volunteers receive thousands of unwelcome calls annually. This is not only distressing to the volunteers but diverts resources from assisting genuine callers. Lifeline and other helplines provide a vital service to assist Australians dealing with mental health issues, relationship breakdowns and other life challenges.

The Code also still includes rules and arrangements for dealing with offensive, harassing or nuisance calls or text messages to individuals.

Communications Alliance also developed two industry Guidance Notes to accompany the revised Code. One is a Consumer Process Guidance Note to assist consumers and the other is a Helpline Threshold Guidance Note to assist Helplines and industry members.

You can download a copy of the Code and read more information from the Communications Alliance website here.

1 March 2017

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AMTA welcomes deployment regulation amendments

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the announcement today from the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, regarding the progression of 10 reforms to the regulations governing the deployment of wireless and mobile networks in Australia; as well as further consultation on 11 other proposed reforms. In welcoming the announcement, AMTA Chief Executive, Chris Althaus noted the Government’s reform package will go some way towards enabling the deployment of the next generation 5G mobile networks which are expected to bring significant improvements in speed, quality and capacity for Australia’s data hungry consumers.  But he also noted there was still more to do. “This is a welcome and very important first step - in what we hope will be an ongoing engagement with government and stakeholders to develop a dynamic regulatory framework to meet the deployment challenges of next generation networks.

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5G gains momentum in 2018

AMTA is confident that the Government's 5G priorities will add momentum to our ongoing efforts to engage with industry verticals and the respective government departments outside of the communications portfolio with regard to the broader economic and social benefits of 5G.

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AMTA Annual Report 2017

In 2017, the strong demand for mobile services continues to have an impact on our economy and society as the industry shifts its focus in preparation for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. AMTA’s latest Annual Report includes the following highlights: As industry prepares for 5G the need for regulatory reform in spectrum management and network infrastructure deployment is increasingly urgent. 5G Mobile – Enabling Businesses and Economic Growth Report by Deloitte Access Economics found that 5G is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy. It will add to the already significant (and growing) $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile; and annual network spend from mobile providers is expected to reach $5.7 billion in FY2017-18. The MCF has focused on an agenda of legislative reform to support the efficient and flexible deployment of network infrastructure.