Protecting telco customers experiencing financial hardship
In 2022–23, we made significant findings about customer financial hardship and the improvements that telcos should make to help these customers.
We will continue to advocate for telco customers experiencing financial hardship and focus on how telcos are complying with their obligations to support these customers, including by monitoring their direct debit and responsible selling practices.
Supporting telco customers experiencing domestic and family violence
The telco industry plays an important role in supporting Australians experiencing (or trying to escape) domestic and family violence. Helping these customers, who are a significant proportion of the population, to stay connected, and be able to access essential services and support is especially important.
We will assess how telcos assist customers experiencing domestic and family violence, and take action against telcos who don’t follow the rules.
Tackling the online supply of dodgy devices
We continue to see complaints about non-compliant radiocommunications devices advertised or bought online. These devices may not meet safety standards and may also cause interference to communications, GPS and emergency services, which can put Australians at risk.
Building on last year’s work, we will focus on supplier compliance with equipment rules, work with online platforms to proactively remove ads for non-compliant devices and educate Australians about the risks of buying these devices online.
Ensuring 5G mmWave EME compliance
The growing rollout of millimetre wave (mmWave) technologies in Australia continues to make EME emissions and 5G compliance a priority. We will extend our electromagnetic energy (EME) measurement program to these technologies as well as assessing EME in buildings.
This program of work will complement our existing EME measurement program and provide additional information and assurance to Australians about 5G and EME.
Maintaining licensing integrity: LPON licence compliance
Recent audits have revealed widespread non-compliance by Low Power Open Narrowcasting (LPON) licensees with their licence conditions. This includes over-powering transmitters, operating from unlicensed locations, failing to keep records or not providing services.
Non-compliance increases interference risk to other users of the radiocommunications spectrum, denies spectrum to others, degrades services and undermines the efficient allocation and use of spectrum.
We will audit LPON licensees and take action if we find non-compliance with licensing conditions.
Minimising gambling harm
Gambling can have severe and lasting financial and social impacts on individuals and their families. We will focus on supporting Australians to access and benefit from protections designed to help those at risk of, or who are experiencing, harm.
This includes taking action against illegal offshore wagering providers targeting Australians (particularly during the FIFA Women’s World Cup), enforcing gambling ad rules, especially for content that children may see, and supporting Australians to self-exclude from online wagering through BetStop – the National Self-Exclusion Register™.
Enforcing e-marketing unsubscribe rules
Consumers continue to be frustrated by businesses that don’t respect their right to stop receiving direct marketing.
We will concentrate on businesses that don’t action opt-out requests, especially those that may cause significant harm, like direct marketing of gambling, alcohol and ‘buy now, pay later’ products and services.
Combating SMS scams
SMS scams are mostly perpetrated by criminal syndicates and continue to have severe financial and social impacts on Australians.
We will keep working to prevent these scams reaching Australians, by enforcing existing rules, collaborating with Australian and global partners, and exploring new ways to stop scam messages that impersonate legitimate brands or organisations.