ACMA fines Southern Phone: 5 Tech Things to Know in Australia Today

ACMA fines Southern Phone: 5 Tech Things to Know in Australia Today

A happy hump day to one and all! Let’s get news-ical

1. ACMA slaps Southern Phone with a $244k fine

Southern Phone has paid a $244,140 fine from ACMA for failing to adequately deal with customer complaints. An ACMA investigation found the telco, owned by AGL, breached telecommunications complaint handling rules 77 times between April and June 2023.

On 38 occasions Southern Phone failed to notify the customer of an expected delay or implement a resolution within the required ten working days for non-urgent complaints. The ACMA also found Southern Phone failed to keep adequate complaints handling records on 39 occasions.

“Efficient handling of customer complaints needs to be treated as a high priority for telcos. Southern Phone lacked the proper processes to manage these complaints and it needs to do better,” ACMA member and consumer lead Samantha Yorke said.

In addition to the financial penalty, Southern Phone has entered into a court-enforceable undertaking committing to an independent review of its compliance with complaints handling rules and to make improvements where needed.

2. Albo wants teens banned from social media

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said children under 16 years old should be banned from social media. Reported by The Guardian he said too much engagement online is damaging to their mental health. Albanese said the often-vicious commentary on social media might harm adults but have a worse impact on children. Speaking to Nova FM radio he said, “I don’t look at the comments on my social media because, if I did, I’d find it difficult to leave the house in the morning. People will say things anonymously that are terrible.”

3. CSIRO dunks on nuclear

In its recent GenCost report, the CSIRO said nuclear power was more expensive than renewables and would take at least 15 years to develop. The report said this reflects the absence of a development pipeline, the additional legal, safety and security steps required, and weighing the evidence provided by stakeholders.

GenCost said it assessed submissions regarding the suitability of large-scale nuclear power generation in Australia’s electricity system and found that, while generation units of that scale are unprecedented in Australia, there are no known technical barriers.

GenCost is an economic report by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, in collaboration with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on the cost of building future electricity generation, storage and hydrogen production in Australia.

4. Telstra ‘resetting’ its enterprise arm

At the same time Telstra announced it’s slashing 2800 jobs in its enterprise division, it also shared its new vision for the department. In its FY25 update, Telstra said it will ‘reset’ Telstra Enterprise to sharpen its focus on areas where it has the strongest differentiation, further improve delivery for customers and improve the
cost base of the business. These include a streamlined product portfolio, simplified customer sales and service model and reduction in the cost base of Telstra Purple tech services business.

5. Creator of personal computer prototype C. Gordon Bell passes

C. Gordon Bell the creator of a personal computer prototype has passed away at 89 years of age, the New York Times reports. Bell’s designs were revolutionary and were the catalyst for the minicomputer industry. Vale.

BONUS ITEM: Looks like I’ll be going to EDC next year.

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