ACMA calls for comment on changes to Internet content regulation

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ACMA calls for comment on changes to Internet content regulation

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has put out a call for comment on proposed changes to a number of legal instruments ahead of the introduction of a new regulatory framework for Internet and mobile content in January 2008.

The media watchdog is seeking comment on three legal instruments: a new Restricted Access Systems Declaration, a draft amendment to the Telecommunications Service Provider (Mobile Premium Services) Determination 2005 (No.1) and a draft amendment to the Numbering Plan.

The proposed new Restricted Access Systems Declaration would, for the first time, combine regulation of access to age-restricted internet content hosted in Australia with that of mobile content and newer types of content – for example, live streamed content – under a single framework.

“Both the community and providers of content should benefit from a uniform approach to managing access to age-restricted electronic content,” said Chris Chapman, ACMA chairman.

The draft amendment to the Telecommunications Service Provider (Mobile Premium Services) Determination 2005 (No.1) would remove content-related provisions for mobile phones, which would be consolidated under the new regulatory framework.

ACMA is seeking the views of stakeholders in having the remaining customer protections in the Mobile Premium Services Self Regulatory Scheme, which address prices, terms and conditions for mobile premium services, covered by a consumer code.

Comment is also being sought on a draft amendment to the Numbering Plan that would require age restricted content delivered via premium SMS and MMS services to use numbers beginning with 195 and 196.

The new schedule commences on 20 January 2008 and provides for the prohibition of, and restriction of access to, certain classifications of content over a broad range of content services delivered over mobile devices and the Internet.
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