Issue No 19: 22 June 2015


Comms Essential -  Implementing the Data Retention Regime
25 June 2015 (Sydney and Melbourne) Register Here  

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IoT Workshop Highlights Regulatory, Consumer and Industry Challenges Ahead

The need for multilateral collaboration on regulatory reform and for Australian industry to invest and nurture start-up companies in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) space have emerged as key themes from the Communications Alliance IoT Think Tank Industry/Stakeholder Workshop in Sydney on 19 June.

Approximately 70 senior attendees from industry, Government, Regulators, consumer groups, consultants, incubators and broader industry associations came together for the half-day workshop, hosted by KPMG.

The workshop was marked by spirited discussion and a broad consensus around many of the key issues detailed in the meeting summary below. The outcomes of the workshop will feed into the thinking of the Think Tank Executive Council and the research study being undertaken by Creator Tech as part of the project.

Communications Alliance IoT Think Tank Industry/Stakeholder Workshop
“IoT Value is Created by Collaboration”

Meeting Summary, 19 June 2015 – KPMG Auditorium, Sydney 

Organisations represented: ACCAN, ACCC, ACMA, Australian Industry Group, Alcatel Lucent, Allens, AMTA, Baker & McKenzie, Bureau of Communications Research, Bird & Bird, Communications Alliance, Cisco, Comms Day, Computerworld, Creator Tech, Dialogue, Downer, Ericsson, Eureka Report, Gilbert & Tobin, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, iotco, ISOC-AU, itron, ITWire, KPMG, Market Clarity Australia, National Narrowband Network Communications, nbn, Opticomm, Optus, Remex, SIRCA, Standards Australia, Telstra, UH Systems, Visionstream, Webb Henderson. (Attendance as per accepted invitations)

Regulatory & Legal Themes:

1. Regulatory examination and potential reform is required on multiple fronts. Need to decide how much of this should be achieved by direct regulation, co-regulation or self-regulation.

2. Consumer-related issues, including:

  • Likely conflict between Australian privacy law, consent requirements and IoT sensor operations
  • Personal data portability (is a Standard required?)
  • Affordability and the Digital Divide
  • Urban vs regional service delivery – can networks cope?
  • Data access issues and potential anti-competitive behaviour

3. Device-related issues including:

  • Ease of installation
  • Protection against tampering
  • Interference, interoperability and standards
  • De-commissioning and disposal
  • ‘Open’ vs ‘closed’ devices and networks – potential for peering

4. Spectrum Management issues, including;

  • Access to and competition for IoT-friendly spectrum
  • ACMA looking at potential use of bands, particularly ISM bands (parts of 900MHz, 2.4GHz and 5.6GHz). Other bands in planning pipeline include the 5.9GHz band being monitored for international developments in intelligent transport systems and planning work for the international harmonisation of 5G technologies. ACMA also open to fresh ideas.
  • Globally-harmonised frequency bands important
  • Can parameter-based licensing via current Spectrum Review process meet needs that may be unmet by Spectrum and Class licences?
  • Need for spectrum-sharing rules in ISM bands
  • Need for more exemptions within Carrier licences?
  • Data portability not currently regulated
  • Need to better understand the demand-side equation

5. Potential need for a common protocol for data collected via IoT (ref. EU work on data protection & privacy).

6. Knowledge-led regulation – can IoT-derived data be used to shape laws and regulation dynamically. Potential need for initial “just do it” approach that will inform regulatory development.

7. Need for Australia to engage more comprehensively in global standard-setting work in the IoT space.

Industry Themes

1. Critical need for Australian industry to invest in and collaborate more effectively with IoT start-up companies:

  • Need to ‘scale’ intellectual development and manufacturing in Australia, to avoid ‘casualties’ such as Ninja Blocks
  • Need to be mindful of opportunities afforded by Australian international trade agreements, e.g. with India and China
  • Can Communications Alliance play a role in facilitating necessary collaboration?

2. Collaboration is an essential ingredient also for broader initiatives such as Smart Cities and public/private ventures.

3. Infrastructure is the ‘cost’ of IoT – collaboration and the innovation of start-up entities will create the value.

4. Multiple usage of the same data also an important key to unlocking value. Data transparency – the breakdown of traditional sectoral data silos – is a necessary precursor to breakthrough progress.

5. Network requirements of IoT have important implications for nbn, 5G development and for potential use of low-power WANs (national narrowband network based on open architecture, with long battery life and low power requirements?)

6. Potential role for “life-management platforms”

7. Smart Cities developments e.g. Singapore – open platforms and predictive response capabilities - Australia ‘behind the game’

8. Bureau of Communications Research (BCR) within the Department of Communications (DoC), undertaking several projects that link with work on IoT, including:

  • Effect of digitisation on national productivity
  • Economics of open data
  • Analysis of enablers and barriers to efficient communications markets, including case study on IoT

VDSL2 Working Committee submits recommendations to the ACCC Superfast Broadband Access Service inquiry

Communications Alliance has submitted its industry response to the ACCC discussion paper for the "Superfast Broadband Access Service declaration inquiry". The ACCC inquiry is investigating whether a superfast broadband access service (SBAS), such as one using Very high speed Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL2) technology, should be regulated under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The ACCC inquiry arose from interest in in building VDSL2 services, so Communications Alliance submitted recommendations from its Working Committee 58 on VDSL2 and Vectoring (WC58). WC58 recommended that, should the ACCC declare a SBAS, then the service description should be one that:

  • has a normal download data rate at Layer 2 of at least 25 Megabits per second (Mbps);
  • is supplied to an end-user by using metallic twisted pair cable; and
  • makes use of spectrum above 2.2MHz on the metallic twisted pair.

Some of these recommendations are based on alignment with existing definitions in legislation, and are intended to focus on access services (i.e. not backhaul services) using VDSL2 or subsequent technologies e.g. G.fast. The addition of the “use of spectrum above 2.2MHz” would complement existing arrangements below 2.2MHz on metallic twisted pair cables, namely the Communications Alliance Unconditioned Local Loop Service (ULLS) Network Deployment Industry Code (C559:2012) which is related to the ULLS Declaration.

The industry response is available from the Submissions page on the Communications Alliance website.

Department of Communications Review of the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND)

Communications Alliance has submitted its industry response to the Department of Communications Review of the Integrated Public Number Database. The review conducted by the DoC looks at the effectiveness and continued need for the IPND, in light of changes to telecommunications technology and also responds to relevant recommendations of the 2008 review of privacy law by the Australian Law Reform Commission.

The IPND is a centralised database containing records of all Australian telephone numbers and associated customer details, including customer name, address, phone number, whether the service is fixed or mobile, whether the service is listed or unlisted and details about the service provider.

The Industry submission responds to a number of the recommendations which were presented in the DoC report including:

  • Improving the quality and accuracy of the IPND data;
  • Amending the regulatory arrangements in relation to access to the IPND information;
  • Raising the public awareness of the IPND; and
  • The medium to long term future of the current IPND and its data use.

The industry response is available from the Submissions page on the Communications Alliance website.

Public comment invited on the revised Priority Assistance for Life Threatening Medical Conditions Code

Communications Alliance Ltd invites public comment on the revised Priority Assistance for Life Threatening Medical Conditions Code (DR C609:2015)

The Priority Assistance for Life Threatening Medical Conditions Code is intended to replace the Priority Assistance for Life Threatening Medical Conditions Code ACIF C609:2007 The Code establishes the minimum standards for the provision of Priority Assistance, including:
(a) the offering by Suppliers to their Customers; and
(b) the offering by Underlying Carriers on a resale basis to Suppliers.
The Code also sets minimum standards, regarding information provided to Customers for Suppliers who do not offer Priority Assistance.

The purpose of the changes are to:

  • provide for consistency between Telstra’s Priority Assistance Policy, which was amended to include a pre-registration scheme (and other smaller changes), and the Code rules;
  • include a provision for emergency medical requests from Customers who have not yet registered for Priority Assistance; and
  • include a provision for a Supplier to make a request to an Underlying Carrier for emergency medical response.

The draft Code can be downloaded from the Drafts for Public Comment page along with further information on how to submit comments.

All submissions received will be made publically available on the Communications Alliance website unless the submitter requests otherwise.

The Public Comment for the draft Code closes at 5:00pm (AEST) on Friday 24th July 2015.

Communications Essentials - Implementing the Data Retention Regime
Sydney and Melbourne (via videoconference) Thursday 25 June 2015

Australia’s controversial Mandatory Data Retention Regime takes effect from 13 October this year.

As Service Providers work to understand what the regime requires and how they can comply with it, Communications Alliance Members are invited to attend a Comms Essentials Seminar on Data Retention Implementation.

This must-attend industry event will feature:

  • An address by the Communications Access Coordinator within the Attorney-General’s Department (responsible for overseeing the scheme) Ms Jamie Lowe; and
  • Presentations from a range of vendors vying to offer outsourced data retention solutions to Australian service providers.

Communications Alliance is working with the Attorney-General’s Department to finalise guidance documents for Service Providers, to help de-mystify the intricacies of the Data Retention requirements, how the data-set applies to specific services and how Service Providers can create implementation plans as a pathway to compliance with the regime.

The event offers an opportunity to hear the views of the CAC, who is responsible for a raft of oversight and approval functions, including the awarding of exemptions and the approval of implementation plans.

Alongside this, the seminar will allow vendors of outsourced data retention solutions to showcase their capabilities as Service Providers seek to define the least burdensome path to complying with the new laws.

The seminar will also feature a legal/regulatory overview of the data retention regime from leading law firm, Baker & McKenzie


  • Overview of regulation and legal overview of the data retention regime: Speaker Patrick Fair, Baker & McKenzie
  • Address by the Communications Access Coordinator  Speaker: Ms Jamie Lowe, Communications Access Coordinator, Attorney-General’s Department
  • Outsourced data retention solution: BAE Systems, Hewlett Packard and Yaana Limited
  • Q&A  Facilitator: John Stanton, CEO, Communications Alliance

Who should attend:

Attendance is essential for Communications Alliance members - representatives from carriage service providers, internet service providers, law firms and other industry stakeholders who want to understand the intricacies of the Data Retention requirements, how the data-set applies to specific services and how Service Providers can create implementation plans as a pathway to compliance with the regime.

Venue:    Sydney - Baker & McKenzie, Level 27, AMP Centre, 50 Bridge Street
                Melbourne via video - Baker & McKenzie, Level 19, 181 William Street

Time:      9:30am for 10:00am start to 12:30pm 

CA Members Registrations accepted here

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Tel: (61) 2 9959 9111