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.

The most influential association in Australian communications, co-operatively initiating programs that promote sustainable industry development, innovation and growth, while generating positive outcomes for customers and society.  To create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour.  For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

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Neeley Williams nwilliams@sefiani.com.au
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