Submissions and publications

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We fulfil our role of being an independent voice by making recommendations to public inquiries or reviews about issues that affect telco consumers and providers. Offering our views on these issues to regulators and telecommunications industry groups contributes to improving telco services in Australia.

We made 18 submissions in 2014-15 including recommendations for: 

  • proposed changes to the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code
  • proposed changes to the Calling Number Display Code
  • legislation extending unfair contract protections to small businesses, and
  • the ACMA’s proposal to remake the Telecommunications Numbering Plan.

Our website has a full list of submissions

Submission: changes to the Telecommunications Numbering Plan

In our submission about changes to the Telecommunications Numbering Plan, we identified an opportunity to improve the process to recover a quarantined number. When a service is disconnected, the telephone number is put into quarantine for at least six months during which the provider cannot re-issue it to another consumer. 

Complaints about number quarantine can be difficult to resolve, sometimes taking months and requiring the involvement of two or three different providers. 

We recommended that a revised plan could address situations in which a consumer who previously held a number wants it back. Having a clear framework for number recovery will make it easier for the industry to apply quarantine processes in a consistent manner. 

Review of TIO position statements

TIO position statements outline our approach to handling particular types of complaints. They were created to provide guidance to consumers and providers about the information we will consider in a complaint. They also promote internal consistency in our complaint handling.

The review reduced the number of statements from 109 to 24, introducing a new format to make the position statements more readable and easy to understand.

Each position statement incorporated feedback from industry and consumer stakeholders.

Land access guidelines

The Telecommunications Act 1997 allows carriers to install low-impact facilities such as antennas, cabling and equipment shelters on most properties without the owner or occupier’s consent. We can look into objections from owners or occupiers to a proposed installation.

To help landowners and carriers understand their rights and responsibilities, we published plain English guidelines on land access. The guidelines include a summary of timeframes, grounds for objection and what consumers and carriers can expect from the TIO in a dispute. 

The Ombudsman finalised 12 decisions on land access objections in 2014-15.