Industry welcomes ACMA review recommendations

Sydney, 22 May 2017 – Communications Alliance has called on the Government to move quickly to implement the recommendations of its review of industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), to give certainty and direction to the body.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, welcomed the Government's endorsement today of the 27 recommendations of the review, which was initiated in June 2015.

"Moves to strengthen the Authority through more full-time Members, provide for the Deputy-Chair to take on more of a CEO-like role, set clearer objectives for the regulator and press for greater self-regulation are all positive steps,

“But Government should move expeditiously to put new arrangements in place, given the long period of organisational 'limbo' within which the ACMA has had to operate.

"It is almost two years since the review was announced and almost exactly one year since the recommendations were published.

"During the past 12 months the ACMA has operated in a very uncertain climate, which has put stress on the organisation in a rapidly changing environment."

Mr Stanton paid credit to ACMA staff and in particular to Acting Chair Richard Bean and Authority Member James Cameron for their leadership during this period.

"In fact, the ACMA has already begun a culture shift - becoming more timely in its decision-making, more pragmatic and responsive in its dealings with industry during the past year or so - and that is very welcome."

Mr Stanton said that many of the review recommendations were in line with submissions put forward by industry.

"Having a broader group of Authority members with specific skill sets, and less reliance on part-time members, should bolster the Authority's ability to cope with an ever-broadening set of challenges.

"The Internet of Things (IoT), for example, is a massive game-changer for the landscape that the ACMA is charged with regulating - having deep expertise in areas such as IoT, over-the-top applications and artificial intelligence will be vital to enable the regulator to navigate the new environment.

"This is even more important in light of the Government's acceptance of the recommendation to continue reform with the aim of establishing a new, contemporary, fit-for purpose telecommunications regulatory framework - a daunting but essential task to which Industry stands ready to contribute constructively".

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body  in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to  provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead  it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and  services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of  consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about  Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

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Kurt Graham kgraham@sefiani.com.au
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