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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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How will 5G improve network performance

While the technical standards for 5G are still being developed, experts agree that 5G will offer: Latency of less than 1ms; Ability to deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps and beyond; Energy efficiency in running 1000s of devices; and Improved network capacity by enabling millions of low bandwidth devices to connect simultaneously. Where 4G focussed on providing improved speed and capacity for individual mobile phone users, 5G will enable more industrial applications, and could be a major technological driver in industrial digitalisation. For more information about 5G read our latest report from Deloitte Access Economics. Download the complete report.

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Flexibility in Network Deployment Regulations

The Department of Communications and the Arts has just completed its public consultation on a suite of amendments to the regulatory framework governing carriers’ deployment of mobile network infrastructure. AMTA joined Communications Alliance in welcoming the opportunity to provide comment on the DoCA consultation paper.

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ARPANSA's latest literature review reports on new Australian study which finds no increase in brain cancer with mobile phone use

In The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA's) regular EMR literature survey for May 2016, ARPANSA report on the recent Australian study by Professor Simon Chapman which asks the question "Has the incidence of brain cancer risen in Australia since the introduction of mobile phones 29 years ago?".  The paper pubslished in cancer epidermology compared mobile phone ownership with the incidence of brain cancer in Australia.  In the study, brain cancer incidence rates from 1982 to 2012 are compared with the number of mobile phone accounts in the Australian population from 1987 to 2012. The study found that although mobile phone use increased from 0% to 94% during the 30 year period brain cancer incidence rates were stable.  This finding is consitent with previous studies in the US, UK. New Zealand and Nordic countries. See ARPANSA's commentary here: Full paper may be found here: