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You are invited: Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and Developing Consumer Regulation

The Telecommunications Society (TelSoc) has pleasure in announcing its next online lunchtime event on Thursday, 21 September 2023, from 12.30 pm to 2.00pm.

A number of important developments involving the TIO have occurred recently. The first is the continuing reduction in the number of complaints by consumers about the services provided by telecommunications operators. This is to be welcomed, particularly if the reduction is for the right reasons. 

The second development is that the TIO has called for a different model – direct regulation – to be adopted for regulation in the sector where it impacts consumers. This call has occurred at a time when the Consumer Protection Code is progressing through the approval stages. Over the past twenty-five years in Australia, the preferred approach to the development of industry codes of practice has been largely by the industry, with subsequent regulatory adoption by the ACMA. Is this model serving Australia well in the current environment?

Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert will present on the state of consumer regulation and consumer code development.  She will also review the current level of complaints and canvass reasons for the recent significant decline in complaints in some areas.

Karen Lee, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Technology, Sydney, and a TelSoc member, will follow the TIO and identify possible frameworks for assessing the effectiveness and suitability of various approaches to regulation – direct regulation, co-regulation and industry self-regulation – and where each tool might be best suited to the regulatory task.

The presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session. TelSoc is all about sharing ideas and encouraging useful discourse within the telecommunications sector. Both speakers will field as many questions as time will allow.