Issue No 27: 16 September 2015



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Communications Alliance Welcomes Malcolm Turnbull’s Appointment as Prime Minister

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton has welcomed the elevation of former Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull to the position of Prime Minister of Australia.

“Mr Turnbull is deeply knowledgeable in the telecommunications sector, which is vital to the realisation of the vision he has set out for Australia to take advantage of the disruptive effects of rapid technological and behavioural change in the digital era.

“He has qualities that Australia needs in terms of leadership and has demonstrated in the Communications portfolio the willingness to embrace robust debate of complex issues and seek a rational position that balances competing interests," Mr Stanton said.

"Mr Turnbull has been a force for reason in the refinement of numerous national security issues that have impacted the telco sector during the past year. Initiatives such as the mandatory data retention regime would have been worse for industry had Mr Turnbull not intervened to try and strike a balance between national security, individual liberties and regulatory impost.”

On data retention, Mr Stanton said industry urgently needed more information about the funding of set-up/capital expenses.

"We need a rapid resolution as to how the government's contribution to the set-up costs will be apportioned - service providers are having to make investment decisions now to comply with this regime, without knowing how much of that expense will remain unfunded.”

Proposed Broadband Monitoring Must Pass the ‘Red Tape’ Test

The ACCC’s push to create the regulatory burden of a broadband performance monitoring regime should undergo rigorous cost-benefit analysis, Communications Alliance said today.

Commenting on the report of a pilot program released by the ACCC today, Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, cautioned that, without a very large sample size which represents a cross section of all user situations, the pilot methodology was unlikely to provide reliable results.

“The growing diversity of access technologies within the NBN multi-technology mix, the need to divide the results by region and the fact that there are more than 400 broadband service providers in Australia may add up to a very expensive solution – the cost of which will ultimately fall on taxpayers or internet consumers.

“Industry welcomes the opportunity to consult further with the ACCC, but that discussion should encompass the full range of options available to meet the aim of greater transparency around broadband performance.

“Options such as crowd-sourcing, which has been used in the US, existing over-the-top measurement tools and other less invasive schemes should be looked at.

“We need to ensure that if a monitoring program is introduced, it is cost-effective, produces reliable data and takes account of the fact that there are factors beyond the control of service providers that can influence the results.”

The ACCC report notes that there was not a consensus view among international regulators that the monitoring programs they had introduced had brought about benefits to stakeholders.

Communications Alliance is preparing to undertake further customer research to better understand what performance information they are seeking and then consider an industry response to address any significant gaps that are not already addressed through existing published metrics.

Cabling and connecting digital broadcast equipment

Communications Alliance is establishing a new project to revise the G642:2010 Installation of Broadcast Cabling and connection of Digital Broadcast Equipment to a Telecommunications Network Industry Guideline.

The new WC73 : Broadcast Cabling and Digital Equipment Working Committee will be reviewing developments within the broadcast industry since the Guideline was first published to bring it into alignment. This will include updating the digital broadcast interfaces and referenced Standards for digital broadcast equipment.

Further information on the project and how to submit an expression of interest to participate on the committee can be found at WC73 Working Committee.

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