The telecommunications watchdog has backed the idea of an ombudsman for digital platforms.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommended such an ombudsmen in its review of digital platforms earlier this year, saying it would give consumers and businesses an avenue for their complaints.

In its response to the ACCC’s review, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman said it agrees with the consumer watchdog.

It says Australians need digital platforms to communicate.

“These platforms now play a vital role in the delivery of essential communication services in modern society,” it says.

“The time is right for Australia to introduce an effective complaint handling framework for users of these services and for the digital platforms industry.”

It says other essential service areas have well-established complaint handling frameworks, but digital platform users do not have such pathways to resolve complaints.

“Scanning the online environment reveals widespread frustration with digital platform complaint processes,” it says.