We are seeking stakeholder views on the future role of the CSG for telephone services and the various regulatory instruments that give effect to it.
Why we want your inputThe CSG has been in place for many years without change while the telecommunications industry has changed around it. Your input can help determine the future role and form of the CSG.
How you can voice your opinionYou can read the consultation paper below and make a written submission giving your views. Your submission can simply be your key points or something more detailed.
What will be the outcome of this consultation?The consultation will help shape the future role of the CSG and consumer protection, taking account of changes in consumer preferences, technology and market structure over the past decade.
The CSG is a long-standing retail consumer protection. While CSG benchmarks were introduced in 2011, most aspects of the CSG have not changed significantly since 1997. The CSG needs to be reviewed given the significant changes in the industry since then, including changes in consumer preferences, technologies and market structure.
Part 5 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 (TCPSS Act) provides for performance standards to be made for telecommunications services and compensation to be paid to consumers if those standards are not met.
CSG performance standards have focused on the connection and repair of standard fixed telephone services, and associated appointment keeping. The CSG complements the Universal Service Obligation (USO), also set out in the TCPSS Act, which provides access to standard fixed telephone services.
The details of the CSG are set out in regulatory instruments made by the Minister for Communications and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). These are the:
- Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Direction (No. 1) 2011 (made by the Minister)
- Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Standard 2011 (made by the ACMA)
- Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Amendment Standard 2011 (No. 1) (made by the ACMA)
- Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee – Retail Performance Benchmarks) Instrument (No. 1) 2011 (made by the Minister)
- Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Record-Keeping Rules 2011 (made by the ACMA).
The last four instruments are due to sunset or cease on 1 October 2023. Accordingly we are undertaking a 'thematic review' of the CSG as a whole and of the relevant instruments. This approach allows us to consider the CSG against the significant changes that have taken place in the Australian telecommunications industry over the past two decades, including changes in consumer preferences, technologies and market structure.
Given its CSG responsibilities, we will be working closely with the ACMA in undertaking the review and sharing submissions with it.
Stakeholders are strongly encouraged to read the consultation paper below in drafting their submission.
If you have questions, comments or feedback on this consultation process, please email us at email@example.com.
As explained in the consultation paper, the service standards proposed by NBN Co in its variation to its Special Access Undertaking are also relevant. These can be found on the ACCC's website.
In addition to the CSG instruments cited above, the enabling legislation in Part 5 of the TCPSS Act may also be of interest to stakeholders.
Public consultation on the discussion paper was open for six weeks from 17 February to 27 March 2023. The Department received 14 submissions, including from industry, government, consumer groups and members of the public. All submissions are available below to help stakeholders understand the varying perspectives on this matter.
After considering views from stakeholders, the Minister for Communications intends to remake the sunsetting CSG instruments for at least three years, with necessary updating and some minor revisions.
This will allow time to further consider the long-term future of the CSG and how consumers can best be protected, given the significant changes that have taken place in the industry over recent decades. A relevant factor is the extent to which a varied NBN Co Special Access Undertaking will address the issues raised in submissions, noting that is subject to a decision being finalised by the ACCC.
We are now preparing the required instruments for the Minister’s consideration, in consultation with the ACMA, which will prepare the instruments for which it is responsible.
Australian Privacy Principle 5 Notice
Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) Thematic Review
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (the department) is collecting information for the purposes of the Customer Service Guarantee Thematic Review (Review) in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.
The department will use this information to inform consideration of issues associated with the Review and will store this information securely. It may be used by the department to make further contact with you about the Review.
The department will not disclose information to third parties, except in the circumstances outlined below.
Submissions, in part or full, including the name of the author may be shared with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The department may also disclose confidential submissions within the Commonwealth of Australia, including with other Commonwealth agencies, where necessary in the public interest.
Submissions, in part or full, including the name of the author may be published on the department's website unless the submission is confidential. Confidential submissions (including the author's name) will not be published. Private addresses and contact details will not be published or disclosed to any third parties unless required by law.
Submissions will only be treated as confidential if they are expressly stated to be confidential. Automatically generated confidentiality statements or disclaimers appended to an email do not suffice for this purpose. If you wish you make a confidential submission, you should indicate this by ensuring your submission is marked confidential.
Confidential submissions will be kept securely and will only be disclosed in the following circumstances:
- in response to a request by a Commonwealth Minister
- where required by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia,
- where required by law.
Please note that in order to protect the personal privacy of individuals in accordance with the Privacy Act any submissions containing sensitive information, personal information or information which may reasonably be used to identify a person or group of people may not be published, even if not marked as confidential.
The submissions that have been published on this consultation page have been created by third parties and may not meet WCAG 2.0 guidelines. For accessible copies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.