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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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Final NTP results cannot confirm mobile phone cause cancer in humans

The long awaited final results of the decade-spanning US National Toxicology Program on radiofrequency energy exposure has found no consistent effects in male and female mice and rats exposed to mobile phone signals for their whole life (2 years). However, in a sub-section of the study, researchers found that at the highest doses for the longest periods of time, cellphone radiation might cause a rare cancer in male rats. “High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumours in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP),” said a press release from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where the program is headquartered.

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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.

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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.