Telecommunications

Planning for telecommunications and open finance CDR rules underway

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The federal government has officially named telecommunications as the next sector to see the right to consumer data (CDR).

A sector can only be part of the CDR regime after the federal government has officially designated the categories of information or data that can be used to apply the regime to that specific sector.

For the telecommunications sector, the designated categories of information for the purposes of the CDR will be generic and publicly available product data, product data that relates to particular products used by consumers, and basics about consumers and accounts, such as data available to consumers on their bills or through online accounts or mobile apps.

Now that formal designation is complete, the government will begin consultations with industry and government stakeholders on the rules and standards to be applied to the telecommunications sector.

According to the federal government, the end goal of expanding CDR into telecommunications will be to provide consumers with access to more accurate information about their Internet usage, phone usage and product plans so that they can more easily compare and switch between providers.

As the federal government moves forward with planning for the telecommunications CDR, industry body Communications Alliance said a regulatory impact assessment should be undertaken before any further work is done. The telecoms industry body said the government had yet to quantify the benefits it believed would accrue to consumers from a telecom CDR, and expressed concern about the costs required to the implementation of the CDR.

“Many of the claimed benefits to consumers have been delivered through other government policies, such as greater competition in the mobile sector, number portability, funding for mobile blackspots and the $50 billion NBN scheme. Australian dollars. No evidence has been presented that CDR will add to these policies,” said John Stanton, CEO of Communications Alliance.

“Modeling undertaken for the government suggests that the costs to industry (and ultimately, largely, to consumers) over the first two years of CDR operation could be close to A$120 million. “

As well as announcing that work on the CDR telecommunications rules was underway, the government said it would also start work on implementing open funding in the CDR regime. Open finance aims to allow consumers to compare a wider range of financial products that extend beyond the banking sector. These sectors include insurance, superannuation, merchant acquiring and non-bank lending service providers.

According to the Treasury, open finance was identified as the next priority area for expanding the CDR during its strategic review of the scheme, as it would build on the momentum of open banking, with consumers benefiting from greater control over “every part of their financial life, including their savings, loans, assets, retirement pension and financial planning”.

In strategic evaluation [PDF]Released on Monday, the Treasury said prioritizing a smaller mix of targeted datasets in these sectors would “unlock a wider range of higher-value use cases” compared to expanding a sector at a time.

For the insurance industry in particular, home and auto insurance would be the top priority when introducing open funding, the Treasury added.

Australia’s CDR was officially launched in July 2020 as part of an open banking regime, which requires financial service providers to share customer data upon customer request.

Meanwhile, from October 2022, energy product information will be shared so that consumers can better compare energy plans, and from November 2022, energy consumers will be able to provide consent to share their data. on their own energy consumption and their connection with a comparison service or a fintech. application.

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