Conroy proposes terms for convergence review

The communications ministry is seeking comments on the draft terms for a review into upgrading Australia's telecom and media regulation for the convergence age

Communications minister, Stephen Conroy, has proposed the terms of reference for a wide-ranging review of Australia's telecom and media regulation.

The government plans to examine existing regulatory frameworks with a view to modernising them for the 21st century.

It will cover all content delivery platforms ranging from broadcast to mobile and fixed telecom networks to the internet.

The goal is to develop more appropriate licensing regulations, obligations and consumer protection arrangements across the platforms.

Senator Conroy said an overhaul of the regulatory regime was becoming increasingly necessary as the world moves towards a “converged media age".

“You can watch programs on your television, computer, or mobile phone – this is just one example of how devices and platforms are converging to deliver people what they want, whenever and wherever they want to watch it,” he said.

This process would be exacerbated by the NBN and the digital television transition, Conroy said.

Regulatory measures first crafted in the 1980s may be entirely unsuitable for modern technology, he added.

The government has called for consultation on the terms of reference, with the deadline for submissions set at January 28. The general public can chime in on Twitter, using the hashtag #converg.

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