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Media ownership rules ‘obselete’ – NBN chair

The chair of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) has argued that Australia's cross-media ownership laws are no longer necessary, as the advent of streaming video-on-demand services such as Netflix have rendered them obsolete, notes ZDNet. “According to Ziggy Switkowski, one of the primary needs for high-speed broadband is to provide consumers with a high enough quality connection to deliver over-the-top (OTT) video services, with the chair arguing that streaming is only going to grow in popularity.” The chair said the change in the TV industry has been “extraordinarily rapid”, with consumers going from having only two TV sets in their households to having a dozen laptop, smartphone, and tablet screens streaming content in every home. Switkowski identified streaming as a public policy issue that the NBN, as it continues its rollout, will “amplify” over the next five years, saying traditional media ownership rules – specifically, the rule providing that a single entity may only own two out of three forms of media at maximum, and have 75% reach – are no longer relevant. “The cross-media ownership rules ... seem in a broadband world to be increasingly obsolescent. So does regulation by traditional content-delivery channels make any sense now, or might it make any sense at all in 2020,” he said.

  • Monday, 23 November 2015

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