The ACMA has published three significant thought leadership pieces as part of a series of discussion papers about communications and media regulation:
Together they frame the ACMA’s considerations on the development of a single coherent regulatory framework for media and communications. They articulate and support our idea that current media and communications legislation and regulation in Australia are under strain, increasingly ‘unfit for purpose’, and often unsuited to the goal of promoting the public interest.
Broken concepts examined how developments in the networked economy and society were straining—and fundamentally breaking—many of the legislative concepts that formed the building blocks of communications and media regulatory arrangements. Of the 55 legislative concepts analysed in the paper, the majority were either ‘broken’ or under significant pressure.
Broken concepts—A 2013 update on the Australian communications legislative landscape is a revised edition of this flagship paper. It illustrates the ongoing tensions within existing regulation and identifies 10 new broken concepts:
- facilities installation permits
- public mobile telecommunication services (PMTS) jamming/boosting devices
- mobile phone repeaters
- controlled media groups—ownership and control
- boundary of a telecommunications network
Many of these additional broken concepts are the result of new digital technologies and the emergence of the networked society and information economy. The paper argues that, as this evolution continues, the ACMA will have to straddle two dimensions:
- working within existing legislative and regulatory arrangements
- laying the path for future communications and media to work for all Australians.
In a companion paper, Connected citizens—a regulatory strategy for the networked society and information economy, the ACMA explores how regulatory practice needs to be rebalanced so that matters of public interest are at the centre of a dynamic global communications and media environment.