Consumer Safeguards Review consultation—Part B: Reliability of services

The Government is consulting on Part B of the Consumer Safeguards Review. Part B will consider existing reliability measures and make proposals to improve outcomes for consumers.

Why we want your input

We are seeking your views to help us develop the next generation of consumer safeguards for the future telecommunications environment.

How you can voice your opinion

You can have your say by reading the consultation paper and sending through written submissions by 5:00pm AEDST on 18 January 2019.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Your feedback will inform Part B of the Review's report and associated recommendations. Consultation on Part C of the Review will follow, and we will report to Government in the coming months.

The Issue

The consumer safeguards currently in place were mainly designed around fixed-line voice services delivered over the existing copper telephone network. We are reviewing these protections to prepare a framework for future services.

On 17 April 2018, Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, announced the Terms of Reference for the Consumer Safeguards Review. The Review is being conducted in three parts. Consultation on Part A of the Review, Redress and Complaints Handling, has now closed and a report on the outcomes has been published.

We are currently consulting on Part B of the Review, Reliability of Services. On 15 November 2018, the Minister released a consultation paper to inform feedback. You can view the consultation paper and supporting documents in the Relevant Documentation section below.

The proposals in the paper relate to four core areas:

  • Mandatory rules which include maximum timeframes on how consumers and small businesses connect and stay connected, encouraging providers to keep appointments.
  • Requirements for providers to focus on keeping consumers connected. This includes offering alternative services if maximum timeframes are not met.
  • All network operators publishing reliability metrics to help consumers make informed decisions.
  • Collection and publication of data by the ACMA on fixed connections, repairs and appointments from both wholesale and retail providers.

A consultation paper for Part C of the Review (choice and fairness) will follow shortly. More information is available on the Consumer Safeguards Review page.

If you have any further comments or questions, please email the Review team.

Make a submission

Please include:

  • contact name
  • organisation name, if applicable
  • contact details, including telephone number, postal and email addresses
  • confirmation whether or not your submission can be made public—published—or kept confidential.

All submissions to be made public need to meet the Digital Service Standard for accessibility. Any submission that does not meet this standard may be modified before being made public.

The information provided to us in the form of an email or letter will be used to inform the Review's report and associated recommendations. Your name, contact details and other personal information will not be provided to any other person or organisation unless required by law.

All submissions will be published on our website unless a need for confidentiality is indicated. For further information about our privacy obligations (including in relation to how to access or correct personal information or make a complaint) and our contact details for privacy matters, please see our Privacy Policy.

Submissions will be accepted until 18 January 2019 by 5:00pm AEDST.

via email: or post:

Consumer Safeguards Review
Department of Communications and the Arts
GPO Box 2154

Current issues or problems with the reliability of your service?

If you have a current issue or complaint about the reliability of your telecommunications service that you would like resolved, the first step is to contact the provider of your service.

If your problem is still not resolved, you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) by phone on 1800 062 058 (free call), email TIO or through the online complaints form on the TIO website.



Relevant Documentation

Discussion paper—Part B—Reliability of services

Published 15th Nov 2018

Download PDF (1.11 MB) Download DOC (152.97 KB)

This consultation paper is seeking your views on proposals to support reliability of services (Part B)—The paper is focused on proposals for reliable telecommunications services, including reasonable timeframes for connections, fault repairs and appointments. The PDF version of this document may not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility requirements. If you would like an accessible PDF version, please email the Review Team at

Companion paper—Service Reliability

Published 15th Nov 2018

Download PDF (630.16 KB) Download DOC (281.52 KB)

Background information to assist stakeholder consideration of issues canvassed in proposals. These documents have been prepared by a third party and may not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility requirements. If you would like an accessible version, please email the Review Team at


15 Nov 2018 09:00 AEDT
18 Jan 2019 17:00 AEDT

These documents have not been produced by us and may not meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA requirements. Please contact us at to obtain alternative copies. 

This consultation is closed.


Aussie Broadband
Australian Communications and Media Authority
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
Bruce Bebbington
Communications Alliance
Consumer Policy Research Centre