Australian watchdog gets more teeth to punish erring telcos news
06 September 2012

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has been vested with new powers by communications minister Stephen Conroy to punish telcos which were not conforming to the industry's new code.

The new rules, which came into effect from 1 September, now require that telcom sewrvices providers must tell users when they were about to breach their plan limits, and could not use terms such as "cap" or "unlimited" in advertising unless they meant them in a literal sense.

Conroy, announcing the new powers at an event run by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network yesterday, said he was now giving ACMA the power to create new rules.

"While the Code addresses current issues, I expect industry to be responsive in addressing new concerns as they emerge," Conroy said.

"(The new powers) will provide the ACMA with the flexibility to introduce consumer protection measures if satisfactory consumer outcomes are not being delivered."

This would mean that ACMA could now frame rules relating to issues such as complicated bills and advertising before actually fining telcos for breach of code.

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Australian watchdog gets more teeth to punish erring telcos