Australia: Convergence Review

The Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy has released draft Terms of Reference for a comprehensive review of the country’s communications and media regulation.

Senator Conroy said technological innovations were rapidly leading to a converged media age and it was time to review current media and communications regulations.

“You can watch programmes on your television, computer, or mobile phone – this is just one example of how devices and platforms are converging to deliver people what they want, whenever and wherever they want to watch it,” Senator Conroy said.

“The rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the switch over to digital television will accelerate this transformation.

“Regulations designed to promote community standards, ensure a diversity of views, encourage competition and protect original Australian content are all important measures underpinning the effective operation of Australia’s media and communications sector. However, the Government recognises that regulatory measures designed in the 1980s may not be the most appropriate for the 21st Century. We need to ensure that Australia’s regulatory framework continues to operate effectively and appropriately in a converged environment.”, he added

The Convergence Review will take a fresh look at Australia’s existing regulatory frameworks with a view to modernising them.

“Our intention is that the Review will look at all content delivery platforms including broadcast, mobile and fixed telecommunications and the Internet. It would seek to identify appropriate licensing regulations, regulatory obligations and consumer protection arrangements across these platforms,” Conroy said.

Public consultation on the Terms of Reference will continue until 28 January 2011.

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