IIA 'incredulous' over broadband restriction

The executive director of the IIA, Peter Coroneos, believes the bulk of the internet industry will face "substantial damage" if streamed audio and video content via the internet are defined as broadcasting services in an upcoming federal ministerial review.

Companies with investments in fixed assets like underground cabling were at high risk of "dead" returns if the review worked against their favour, Coroneos said.

He estimated total industry loss would sit between $5 billion and $10 billion, comprising Telstra's and Optus' investment in cable rollout, the industry's stake in rich internet content, and e-commerce infrastructure like broadband and satellite technology.

"As people digest the implications of last week's law and the statements surrounding it, there is a slow and chilling realisation that their investments may become worthless," Coroneos said.

"I can't even get my head around how big this would be," he lamented. "Exasperated is too tame a term to describe how we're feeling. We're incredulous.

"Our advice to everyone is to wait, hold up and stop everything."

Coroneos felt the IIA had good reason to issue the blanket warning, given that investors could be waiting for up to 18 months to know if online content could be streamed without a licence.

IIA members are not only heeding the organisation's warnings to withhold from investing in internet streaming content or broadband until January 1, 2002 -- the review deadline -- but preparing to scout overseas markets for business, according to Coroneos. "Members are ready to go offshore now," he said, "even Israel and the Asia-Pacific -- anywhere but Australia."

Coroneos said the only sign of the direction the review would take was the government's power to interpret whether streamed audio and video content via the internet could be regarded as broadcasting activities. "Definitions are everything," he said.

Meanwhile, the office of federal IT minister Senator Alston has invited the IIA to discuss the legislation when Alston returns from holiday in a fortnight, Coroneos said.

However, Coroneos was pessimistic about the prospect of a pre-review meeting. "The review is cast in legislation," he said. "I'm not sure what Alston could say to us that could change our view. We're all a bit cynical about how this is going."

Coroneos feared the review could become politicised if it fell into the hands of the Liberal government's administration, rather than being overseen by an independent body such as the Australian Broadcasting Authority.

"There is no indication that this review will be independent," Coroneos maintained. "It could be satisfied by the minister directing his own department to hold the review."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Helen Han

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?