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Digital replicas could transform regulatory practice


The ACMA has offered a glimpse into the future, with a new research paper outlining how emerging digital technologies might impact the agency’s regulatory work in the future.

The paper, which focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital twins, identifies a number of potential uses for the technology in the media and communications environments.

The research outlines how a ‘digital twin’ (a virtual replica of a physical entity), supported by data from IoT sensors and networks, could be produced for the Australian communications environment and could potentially support communications infrastructure monitoring and reporting.

A digital twin in the future could incorporate data on licenced radio communications devices, as well as features that impact radiocommunications such as trees and buildings, weather, tower locations and antenna types.

This type of simulation of the communications environment could enable more efficient analysis, including scenario testing, to inform regulatory decisions.

The paper finds that in the near term, digital twins are most likely to benefit regulators with remits relating to the planning and management of built and natural environments The ACMA will continue to monitor developments as they relate to the communications and media markets.  

The Emerging technologies: Internet of Things (IoT) and digital twins paper is a part of a series under the ACMA’s research program that aims to build the agency’s understanding of digital developments to aid regulatory decision-making.

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