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The ACMA seeks comment on proposed changes to the regulation of international mobile roaming (IMR) services, including an ACMA draft service provider determination that is proposed to replace an existing industry standard.
To facilitate the administrative change from an industry standard to a determination, an exposure draft of a proposed Ministerial Direction (and accompanying Explanatory Statement) to revoke the standard has been prepared by the Department of Communications and the Arts and approved for consultation by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts.
Seven key changes are proposed to be made to IMR regulations and these are captured in the ACMA’s draft determination. These changes, which reflect the outcomes of the ACMA’s 2018 review of the standard, include:
- Enabling a broader range of devices to benefit from IMR protections (for example, tablets).
- Ensuring providers offer additional non-SMS communication options to customers (for receiving IMR-related notifications).
- Giving providers increased flexibility on the wording of IMR message content.
- Where a customer has been sent an IMR message that contains charging information applicable to multiple countries, the provider won’t have to resend the same information when the customer travels to another country covered by that same message within 14 days.
- Ensuring IMR customers are made aware earlier of the charges that will apply once they have used up any included value in their mobile plan.
- Changing the definition of ‘consumer’ to now include a business that has or will have an annual spend with a provider of no greater than $40,000.
- Replacing the term ‘nominal fee’ with a specific amount equal to $1.00.
It is proposed that the ACMA’s determination would commence simultaneously with the revocation of the standard and after any transitional period. For the purpose of consultation, the ACMA is proposing that the determination commence on 1 January 2020. The ACMA anticipates making the determination in October 2019, which would give providers a minimum two-month transition period in which to prepare for full compliance with the determination.
Issues for comment
The ACMA welcomes comments from interested stakeholders on the questions set out below or any other issues relevant to the ACMA’s draft determination, the Ministerial Direction or its accompanying Explanatory Statement.
- Does the draft IMR Determination appropriately define the range of devices that are to receive alerts and notifications about IMR?
- Does the draft IMR Determination effectively allow a customer to select a preferred method of communication?
- Does the draft IMR Determination provide appropriate flexibility around message content while ensuring key information is conveyed to the customer?
- Under section 4 (definition of ‘maximum charge information’) of the draft IMR Determination, the ‘maximum charge information’ that must be provided may differ depending on whether a customer is accessing IMR services via an included value pack, an IMR service inclusive plan, or in any other way. Are there any other types of IMR products or arrangements, or charging information, that should be specified in the IMR Determination?
- Does the draft IMR Determination appropriately deal with the way charging information relating to multiple countries is sent?
- Does the draft IMR Determination appropriately deal with notifying customers of charges from the time they exceed any included value in their mobile plan?
- Does the draft IMR Determination appropriately define a small business consumer?
- Is it appropriate that the draft IMR Determination replaces ‘nominal fee’ with a specific amount equal to $1.00?
- Do you consider that transitional arrangements (to allow time for providers to comply with the IMR Determination) are necessary, and if so, should they be longer or shorter than proposed? If you do consider that particular transitional arrangements are necessary, please provide evidence or information to support your view.
Please note that stakeholder submissions relating to the Ministerial Direction and/or its accompanying Explanatory Statement will be separately provided to the Department of Communications and the Arts for its consideration.