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Australian regulator may get broader remit

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) could be given both a broader and a deeper remit to cover all layers of the communications sector if the recommendations of a government review are enacted, reports IT News. "The government announced a review of the regulator last June to determine if the ACMA had been able to keep up with the rapid change in the communications sector over the past decade, with internet-delivered services and content taking over from traditional broadcasters and other providers. The draft report of the review proposes a stack-based view of interconnected communications to prevent the regulator from being firmly tied to siloed industry structures." The ACMA's remit could cover the applications and content layer – including voice and video calls over the internet – and could logically cover providers such as Netflix and Presto, the report suggests. A further three layers would cover the regulation of devices likes TVs, phones and tablets, networking and routing protocols, and infrastructure such as cabling and electromagnetic mediums. Such a structure would allow the ACMA to respond more quickly to emerging issues and consumer harms, the report suggests.
The report also considered the current performance and resourcing of the ACMA. It concluded that "the ACMA has performed well and efficiently in its operations, with steady improvements in important areas of business processes over the last ten years. It has developed sound approaches to regulatory issues and has a strong international reputation in areas such as spectrum management. It has pursued efficiencies in corporate and business processes and adjusted its structure as its resource base has declined over time. Its regulatory decision-making has been sound and supported by evidence."

See and the draft report at 

  • Tuesday, 24 May 2016

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