Regulating for connected citizens | ACMA

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21 June, 2013 12:56 PM

researchacma

Regulating for connected citizens

By Administrator

City workers rushing while using mobile phones

The ACMA’s research paper, Connected Citizens—A regulatory strategy for a networked society and information economy examines how can regulatory practice can be adapted to deal with 21st century challenges arising from a digital economy and society. The paper is part of a continuing discussion series about communications and media regulation.

Connected citizens, released by ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman during his speech to the ‘Broadband for all’ seminar in Stockholm, looks at how a coherent unifying regulatory practice can help to balance the two dimensions of this environment, which are:
> administering some 26 Acts and 523 pieces of communications and media regulation
> working with industry and the community to solve new issues that arise from technology innovation and emerging concerns of constantly connected citizens.

The ACMA has combined its practical experience and research base to assess how these current tensions can be solved. Employing a mix of strategies within a coherent unifying regulatory practice framework will offer certainty while also creating the flexibility to address the new issues of an information economy. 

Direct regulation will remain an important way of dealing with established industry participants and known sectors of communications and content industries. In future, the ACMA expects to see an increased emphasis on communication programs to help citizens manage the digital content environment, as well as encourage industry-led responses to emerging issues.

The ACMA commenced this conversation with Broken concepts—The Australian communications legislative landscape, which identified the pressures arising from media and communications convergence on current regulatory and legislative settings. This included an analysis of some of the emerging risks for existing legislative concepts that are in their second decade of operation. In Enduring concepts—Communications and media in Australia, the ACMA considered the public interest outcomes providing a stable set of public values that inform and shape regulatory intervention in converged communications and media in Australia.

A 2013 update of Broken concepts highlights the continuing pressure on regulatory arrangements from ongoing innovation and changing citizen use of communications and media. It identifies an additional 10 regulatory concepts to the original 55 examined in 2011 that are now under pressure in the communications and media regulatory framework.
This paper underscores the importance of being able to work within existing legislation but also adapting regulation to better respond to the changing communications and media environment.

This paper underscores the importance of being able to work within existing legislation but also adapting regulation to better respond to the changing communications and media environment.