Australian Communications and Media Authority

Australian Communications and Media Authority
Australian Communications and Media Authority
Media-PYRMONT, NSW
Media-Pyrmont, NSW
The ACMA also creates and administers more than 523 legislative instruments including radiocommunications, spam and telecommunications regulations, and licence area plans for free-to-air bro..
Level 5 The Bay Centre, 65 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, NSW, 2009.
Level 5 The Bay Centre, 65 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, ..
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The ACMA also creates and administers more than 523 legislative instruments including radiocommunications, spam and telecommunications regulations, and licence area plans for free-to-air broadcasters. An important aspect of the agency''s work is to collect just over $688 million in taxes and levies on behalf of the Australian Government, making it the third largest collector of taxes and levies behind the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Customs Service.

The ACMA's paper Connected citizens—A regulatory strategy for a networked society and information economy , is the third in a series of thought leadership pieces framing the ACMA's consideration of the development of a single, coherent regulatory framework for media and communications.

Connected citizens examines how can regulatory practice can be adapted to deal with 21stcentury challenges arising from a digital economy and society.

 ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman, released the paper during his speech  to theBroadband for all seminar in Stockholm. The paper 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 more than 500 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 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 the follow-up paper, Enduring concepts, 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,

playing into ongoing development of regulatory responses to the growth of a  ‘networked society'

The ACMA's self-imposed performance standard is: ‘To be, and to be recognised as, the world's best converged communications regulator'. The standard—put in place as an aspirational goal to stretch the organisation and drive the ACMA towards being the best—has been part of the ACMA's internal transformation activities for seven years. It aligns with our vision to remain constantly relevant, as well as with our strategic purpose: ‘To make communications and media work in Australia's public interest'.

This assessment is the third evaluation, the first and second having been published in September 2011 and March 2013 respectively.

In this latest review (Word doc 3 Mb) (PDF, 2 Mb) of our performance against the standard, 43 case studies of world-leading practice, and 21 activities regarded as ‘sustaining' such practice by the agency. As a consequence, we believe the agency can reasonably claim to have gone a considerable way towards meeting our standard.

A critical part of our review has been to ask for feedback on the case studies from external peers. If they've given us permission, we've included their feedback in the narrative.

Join the conversation—comment here

Because we are a learning organisation, we welcome comment from anyone who is interested in reviewing the third assessment of how we are going. Please join the conversation by posting any comments below.

When crafting your comments, please bear in mind that the characterisation of the ACMA as ‘world's best' is a feature of the whole narrative rather than each case study. While some case studies demonstrate that we are meeting or leading world's best practice, others showcase a unique Australian solution or approach, or may be something that a world-class converged regulator must do.

This article is taken from the ACMA's Five-year Spectrum Outlook 2013-2017, published in September 2013. 

The Five-year spectrum outlook 2013–2017  is available for download as an e-mag, PDF and word document here. The Table of contents and links to individual sections of the report are available here.



 

The ACMA makes a range of decisions and develops instruments to manage the radiofrequency spectrum. Decisions made by the Authority produce spectrum management outcomes in the form of allocations, pricing, licensing frameworks and licence conditions. Figure 2.2 illustrates the basis for and process behind these decisions. As indicated by the arrows encircling this diagram, spectrum management outcomes affect the environment and the demand for and supply of spectrum and so in this sense the process is iterative.

2.5.1 Principles for spectrum management

The principles provide scope for the ACMA to manage spectrum through a balanced application of both regulatory and market mechanisms. In summary, the principles are as follows: 
1. Allocate spectrum to the highest value use or uses. 
2. Enable and encourage spectrum to move to its highest value use of uses. 
3. Use the least cost and least restrictive approach to achieving policy objectives. 
4. To the extent possible, promote both certainty and flexibility. 
5. Balance the cost of interference and the benefits of greater spectrum utilisation. 
The principles aim to: 
> promote consistency, predictability and transparency in the ACMA's decision-making 
> provide guidance for major planning and allocation decisions to be made 
> increase the ACMA's ability to respond to challenges, including the impact of new technologies and increasing demand for spectrum for advanced services. 
The Radiocommunications Consultative Committee (RCC) has advised that the principles should be reviewed for possible updates to: 
> provide further explanation or clarification on the language used to describe key concepts in spectrum management, such as ‘highest value use' and ‘total welfare standard' 
> provide a broader consideration of what constitutes value in terms of spectrum use that is not limited to economic considerations.

Further information on this project is outlined in Chapter 6.

2.5.2 Total welfare standard

In 2007, the ACMA adopted a total welfare standard for use when: 
> the policy and legislative framework provides the ACMA with discretion about the tests it might apply 
> a regulatory intervention might have a significant economic impact on consumers, producers or other stakeholders. 
In these circumstances, the impact on total welfare is one important factor that the ACMA will take into account. 

The ACMA recognises that the assessment of costs and benefits using a total welfare standard will often need to take into account both quantitative and qualitative factors. When the total welfare standard is applied, all significant benefits and costs are taken into account and given the same weight, irrespective of the identity of the recipient.

The ACMA's paper Connected citizens—A regulatory strategy for a networked society and information economy , is the third in a series of thought leadership pieces framing the ACMA's consideration of the development of a single, coherent regulatory framework for media and communications.

Connected citizens examines how can regulatory practice can be adapted to deal with 21stcentury challenges arising from a digital economy and society.

 ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman, released the paper during his speech  to theBroadband for all seminar in Stockholm. The paper 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 more than 500 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 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 the follow-up paper, Enduring concepts, 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,

playing into ongoing development of regulatory responses to the growth of a  ‘networked society'

The ACMA's self-imposed performance standard is: ‘To be, and to be recognised as, the world's best converged communications regulator'. The standard—put in place as an aspirational goal to stretch the organisation and drive the ACMA towards being the best—has been part of the ACMA's internal transformation activities for seven years. It aligns with our vision to remain constantly relevant, as well as with our strategic purpose: ‘To make communications and media work in Australia's public interest'.

This assessment is the third evaluation, the first and second having been published in September 2011 and March 2013 respectively.

In this latest review (Word doc 3 Mb) (PDF, 2 Mb) of our performance against the standard, 43 case studies of world-leading practice, and 21 activities regarded as ‘sustaining' such practice by the agency. As a consequence, we believe the agency can reasonably claim to have gone a considerable way towards meeting our standard.

A critical part of our review has been to ask for feedback on the case studies from external peers. If they've given us permission, we've included their feedback in the narrative.

Join the conversation—comment here

Because we are a learning organisation, we welcome comment from anyone who is interested in reviewing the third assessment of how we are going. Please join the conversation by posting any comments below.

When crafting your comments, please bear in mind that the characterisation of the ACMA as ‘world's best' is a feature of the whole narrative rather than each case study. While some case studies demonstrate that we are meeting or leading world's best practice, others showcase a unique Australian solution or approach, or may be something that a world-class converged regulator must do.

This article is taken from the ACMA's Five-year Spectrum Outlook 2013-2017, published in September 2013. 

The Five-year spectrum outlook 2013–2017  is available for download as an e-mag, PDF and word document here. The Table of contents and links to individual sections of the report are available here.



 

The ACMA makes a range of decisions and develops instruments to manage the radiofrequency spectrum. Decisions made by the Authority produce spectrum management outcomes in the form of allocations, pricing, licensing frameworks and licence conditions. Figure 2.2 illustrates the basis for and process behind these decisions. As indicated by the arrows encircling this diagram, spectrum management outcomes affect the environment and the demand for and supply of spectrum and so in this sense the process is iterative.

2.5.1 Principles for spectrum management

The principles provide scope for the ACMA to manage spectrum through a balanced application of both regulatory and market mechanisms. In summary, the principles are as follows: 
1. Allocate spectrum to the highest value use or uses. 
2. Enable and encourage spectrum to move to its highest value use of uses. 
3. Use the least cost and least restrictive approach to achieving policy objectives. 
4. To the extent possible, promote both certainty and flexibility. 
5. Balance the cost of interference and the benefits of greater spectrum utilisation. 
The principles aim to: 
> promote consistency, predictability and transparency in the ACMA's decision-making 
> provide guidance for major planning and allocation decisions to be made 
> increase the ACMA's ability to respond to challenges, including the impact of new technologies and increasing demand for spectrum for advanced services. 
The Radiocommunications Consultative Committee (RCC) has advised that the principles should be reviewed for possible updates to: 
> provide further explanation or clarification on the language used to describe key concepts in spectrum management, such as ‘highest value use' and ‘total welfare standard' 
> provide a broader consideration of what constitutes value in terms of spectrum use that is not limited to economic considerations.

Further information on this project is outlined in Chapter 6.

2.5.2 Total welfare standard

In 2007, the ACMA adopted a total welfare standard for use when: 
> the policy and legislative framework provides the ACMA with discretion about the tests it might apply 
> a regulatory intervention might have a significant economic impact on consumers, producers or other stakeholders. 
In these circumstances, the impact on total welfare is one important factor that the ACMA will take into account. 

The ACMA recognises that the assessment of costs and benefits using a total welfare standard will often need to take into account both quantitative and qualitative factors. When the total welfare standard is applied, all significant benefits and costs are taken into account and given the same weight, irrespective of the identity of the recipient.

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