Issue No 3: 8 February 2017
ACOMMS 2017 Launched
Nominations have opened for the Australian communications industry’s premier awards, the ACOMMS, with 12 categories celebrating performance excellence in innovation, customer service, marketing, and product solutions across the breadth of the telecommunications sector.
The ACOMMS will be announced and presented at the 11th Annual ACOMMS Dinner to be held on 19th July 2017 at the Hyatt Regency, Sydney. The Minister for Communications, The Hon Mitch Fifield, has been invited to deliver the keynote address at the dinner and comedic superstar Kitty Flanagan will be the awards Master of Ceremonies.
2017 Key Dates
Network Protection Legislation May Lead to Greater Cyber Risk
Proposed new Federal legislation intended to help protect Australian communications networks and businesses from cyber attack and sabotage might actually make them more exposed to such threats, a broad coalition of industry representatives has warned.
In a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) published today, the group pointed to serious problems in the Telecommunication Sector Security Reform (TSSR) legislation, recently introduced to Federal Parliament.
These included vague drafting, regulatory overreach, the ongoing risk that telecoms service providers could be forced by Government to dismantle or retro-fit existing communications networks and the risk to hamper innovation and to place Australian businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
The coalition of industry associations includes the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) and Communications Alliance, which collectively represent the bulk of Australia’s $100 billion ICT industry, including telecommunications carriers, carriage service providers, vendors and intermediaries.
The Associations did commend the Government for making a number of useful amendments to earlier drafts of the legislation, after receiving advice from Industry.
The proposed TSSR regime “may in fact divert scarce resources away from investing directly in addressing cyber security threats, to compliance overhead arising from the regime. It may reduce the ability for the ICT industry and its clients to proactively monitor and quickly respond to threats and breaches,” the submission states.
While the proposed legislation establishes a set of obligations for Industry, the Associations pointed to the absence in the legislation of an equivalent requirement for Government to brief Industry on emerging threats.
A further potential impractical provision, they said, is a requirement to attempt to protect networks that are ‘used’ by a service provider, even when these networks are not owned or controlled by that provider, and might not be even located in Australia or subject to Australia law.
The Associations anticipate appearing before the PJCIS on these issues when public hearings are held.
The full text of the submission can be found here.
Joint CA/AMTA submission on the ACMA Five Year Spectrum Outlook looks at mobile spectrum
Communications Alliance and the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association have provided a joint response to the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Five-year spectrum outlook 2016–20: The ACMA’s spectrum management work program (the FYSO).
This joint submission focuses on the interests of the mobile and fixed wireless sectors with the advent of the next generation of mobile communications networks. Industry is now preparing for 5G and technological trials are underway. The availability of spectrum for 5G is important for investment in network infrastructure for these new services which will in turn provide social and economic benefits for the Australian society.
The submission follows on from the release last week of a separate submission by the Communications Alliance Satellite Service Working Group on the FYSO which discussed a number of issues that are of interest to the satellite industry.
The joint submission is available from the Communications Alliance submissions page.