The Communications Alliance has weighed in on ICT policy, calling for the following three commitments from both parties in the Federal Election on August 21.
1. A certainty around the future of high-speed broadband in Australia – A Gillard Government will need to respond rapidly to the NBN implementation study and get the required legislation through the Senate, so that we can capitalise on all the good work done to date, and roll the network out to all Australians. An Abbott Government will need to be absolutely clear about what its policy is in this respect, and give industry and others the opportunity to help refine and validate the action plan that should flow from that policy, so that all the players can start to execute on it.
2. The other vital attribute for the new or returned Government is a commitment to take a flexible and dynamic approach to the regulatory and policy framework that governs the communications industry. As Senator Conroy has observed, much of this is becoming obsolete as new technology, new business models and convergence change the face of service delivery in this country and globally. The Government will need to be smart and nimble to enable the law to remain relevant to the market.
3. Finally, Governments should give the current reviews of the self-regulatory consumer protections codes the opportunity to deliver improved performance – something the industry is genuinely committed to – before opting to impose even more top-down regulation, which is in no way guaranteed to serve consumers’ interests.