find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Senior Government Lawyer
Category: Other | Location: Canberra ACT 2600
View details
Sydney outfit drafts new telco code

Sydney outfit drafts new telco code

A new code drafted by Sydney law firm Truman Hoyle represents a major advance in the self-regulation of the telecommunications industry.

The Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code was approved by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on 11 July and will come into force on 1 September. The code will govern advertising, account management and complaint handling in the telecommunications sector.

Communications specialist at Truman Hoyle, Shane Barber (pictured), along with partners Hamish Fraser, Kathryn Edghill and Graham Maher, spent around 18 months providing drafting and associated legal and regulatory services for the new code.

Barber told Lawyers Weekly that the firm was engaged by the telecommunications industry body Communications Alliance. The body brought together stakeholders representing consumers, the industry, ACMA, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and government departments to form working groups and steering committees.

Negotiating a code deemed satisfactory by ACMA and the other interested parties, particularly the telcos, was challenging, revealed Barber. But the threat that ACMA might not register an industry code “was a real concern” and provided impetus for the parties to come to an agreement, he added.

The “extensive” code went through around nine iterations, Barber continued. The Truman Hoyle team navigated a raft of requirements under the new Competition and Consumer Act, in addition to existing regulations under the Telecommunications Act.

“All of these regulatory requirements had to be taken into account in preparing each of the chapters of the code,” he said.

Lawyers advising the telcos and in-house counsel must now ensure the provisions of the 102-page code are followed, said Barber.

“While some provisions will commence immediately, others have longer lead times as they will require a real refocus within telcos.”

The code bans the word ‘cap’ in advertising and states standard charging information must be provided, along with a concise summary of what consumers are signing up for. It also requires service providers to alert customers as they cross usage thresholds to reduce the incidence of ‘bill shock’.

A new industry watchdog called Communications Compliance has been created to monitor compliance but it cannot issue fines or penalties. The watchdog will not replace ACMA or the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Sydney outfit drafts new telco code
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
Aug 21 2017
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
Aug 21 2017
Top-tier offers targeted mentoring for Indigenous law students
Students at Macquarie University will be the first to benefit from a new Indigenous mentoring progra...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...