Issue No 26: 19 November 2019
Comms Alliance Appointed to Space Industry Leaders Forum
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, has been appointed to the Australian Space Agency’s new Space Industry Leaders Forum (SILF).
The forum membership includes industry representatives, academia, industry associations and other non-government space organisations.
Forum Members are:
Professor Russell Boyce, Chair Space Engineering, University of New South Wales, Canberra
Telecommunications Vital To Australia’s Economy, Research Finds
Australia’s telecommunications industry directly contributes more than $51 billion annually to the Australian economy and supports more than 260,000 jobs across the nation, new research has revealed.
“In addition to being an important industry vertical, telecommunications is a key ‘horizontal enabler’, facilitating innovation and enterprise in every other industry sector,” the research found.
Economic analysis of these productivity benefits shows that the Australian economy is 6.5%, or $126 billion, larger in 2019 than it would have been without the positive impact of telecommunications.
This equates to an additional $5,000 per Australian, per year.
These are among the findings of the Connected Nation report, launched today by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP. The research was undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics and is available here.
The report shows the industry employed 87,300 full time equivalent (FTE) roles directly, across Australia, in 2017-18.
“The research also highlights the ways in which telecommunications infrastructure generates economic efficiency, by enhancing the ability of individuals and businesses to communicate and collaborate – creating additional opportunities for the growth that Australia needs so badly,” Mr Stanton said.
Minister Fletcher welcomed the findings and said the report demonstrates the importance of the telecommunications sector in supporting a strong and stable economy.
“It is clear that the telecommunications sector is a vital enabler of Australia’s economic activity, directly contributing more than $51 billion to GDP in 2017-18. Telecommunications is a key input to every industry – helping businesses operate more efficiently, connecting them to new national and international markets, and aiding communication with customers and suppliers.”
“I look forward to continued innovation from the sector as it paves the way for the adoption of new technologies such as 5G networks and the Internet of Things.”
The report also found that telecommunications has the second highest investment rate compared to 93 other industries in the economy. Robust competition in the sector has resulted in the price of services falling significantly in real terms over the past decade, while connectivity, data, speed, and the diversity of products and services have all improved – often dramatically.
John O’Mahony, Partner at Deloitte Access Economics, outlined the key research findings at today’s launch and commented: “This report demonstrates that telecommunications is central to delivering two of the Commonwealth Government’s economic objectives – lifting investment and improving productivity – which are the basis of higher living standards in the long term.”
ACMA to Begin Blocking Illegal Offshore Gambling Websites
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is set to begin using powers to have Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block illegal offshore gambling websites.
Illegal offshore gambling websites target Australians who often end up being cheated or defrauded.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said that the ACMA will ask ISPs to block gambling sites it has found to be in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 but that continue to offer services to Australians.
The blocking orders will be made via a new protocol, jointly developed by Communications Alliance and the ACMA, which provides a framework for cooperation between the ACMA, relevant ISPs, Communications Alliance and legitimate Australian online gambling providers.
“Industry strongly supports measures to protect Australians against illegal gambling operators and has mobilised to facilitate this Government initiative,” Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said.
Ms O’Loughlin said: “We have been targeting illegal gambling services we know are active in the Australian market through complaints received and monitoring. But we expect that list of sites will grow as we investigate more.”
“The ability to have ISPs block illegal websites will be a valuable additional weapon in the ACMA’s arsenal in the fight against illegal online gamblin
“In many cases these sites refuse to pay significant winnings, or only a small portion. Customers had also experienced illegal operators continuing to withdraw funds from their bank account without authorisation.
“There is little to no recourse for consumers engaging with these unscrupulous operators.
“If you have funds deposited with an illegal gambling site, you should withdraw those funds now.
“More than 65 illegal companies have pulled out of the Australian market since 2017 when the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules.
“We have achieved this through working with other regulatory agencies, placing directors of these gambling sites on the Department of Home Affairs Movement Alert List and notifying regulators in the home countries of the sites.
“Public education is also crucial in deterring Australians from using these sites, given many illegal offshore gambling websites target Australians by using Australian themes and images, such as the Australian flag and native animals,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
The ACMA publishes a Register of licensed interactive wagering services so that consumers can be sure services are legal in Australia.
More information about how consumers can protect themselves from illegal gambling operators is available on the ACMA website.
The ACMA’s General Policies and Procedures released today provide transparency about how it will exercise powers to have ISPs block relevant illegal gambling sites.
Reminder: Call for input
Communications Alliance is calling for input to the review of Guideline G660:2018, Assisting Customers Experiencing Domestic and Family Violence.
The call for input closes on 10 January 2020. For more information, see https://www.commsalliance.com.au/Documents/public-comment.