The communications sector is experiencing rapid change and in response the Australian Government is pursuing significant reforms across the Communications portfolio. We are working to accelerate the rollout of the NBN, ensure regulation is fit for the digital age, reform Australia Post, modernise Australia’s spectrum management framework and make our public broadcasters more efficient and accountable.
The Government is conducting a review of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to ensure the regulator is able to effectively deal with challenges arising from a rapidly changing communications sector.
The ACMA is responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The Australian communications environment has changed dramatically since the ACMA was established in 2005. The rollout of the national broadband network, the introduction of digital multichannels, the widespread use of digital devices including smartphones, the growth of search engines like Google, and the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube, are all combining to make communications services a more integral part of every Australian home and business.
The Government considers it timely to review the ACMA to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose for both the contemporary and future communications regulatory environment.
The review will consider the current communications sector and the evolving shape of the digital media and communications environment and how the role of the communications regulator should adapt to these over time. The review will make recommendations to the Minister for Communications on the future objectives, functions, structure, governance and resource base of the communications regulator.
This review will take into account broader regulatory reform programmes being implemented by the Government, including its deregulation agenda to reduce the burden on individuals and businesses and the Regulatory Performance Framework to improve the way regulators administer regulation.
The review will be undertaken by the Department of Communications, supported by a reference group of Australian and international communications and regulatory experts.
The Department will consult widely with regulated entities, consumers and their representatives and relevant organisations, including other regulators. The Department will call for submissions in the near future and will report to the Minister for Communications by the end of 2015.
The terms of reference for the review are available at: http://www.communications.gov.au/consultation_and_submissions/acma_review