Communications regulations set for change

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Regulatory systems face possible disruption and significant changes, according to a preliminary report released yesterday by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).

Regulatory systems face possible disruption and significant changes, according to a preliminary report released yesterday by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).

Between now and the year 2020, rapid technological innovations will have massive implications, with regulators facing major challenges as the industry evolves.

ACA acting chairman Dr Bob Horton identified key themes in the report -- called Vision 20/20 -- that could have bearings on regulatory systems.

These include: an uncertain and dynamic communications environment; difficulties in regulating this environment on a global scale; and the need to support consumers in their knowledge and utilisation.

The report has been devised to prompt discussion within the industry as to how to adapt to this evolution, with public consultation set to continue until 17 September.

"During the consultation period, we are looking for views on assumptions made, whether there are gaps in our thinking, whether the key regulatory implications have been identified, and the possible benefits to industry and consumers of the proposed strategic agenda," Horton said.

"The ACA looks forward to leading the debate over the future direction of communications regulation," he continued. "[But] this is not an attempt to establish what the world should look like, nor does this work represent the views of the government about the role of regulation now or in the future."

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