Telecommunications Regulatory Update - September 2016
ACMA updated privacy guidelines for broadcasters
The ACMA has released its updated privacy guidelines for broadcasters, which were last revised in 2011.
The privacy guidelines have been updated to:
- reflect amendments to broadcasting codes of practice since 2011;
- outline new case studies of key ACMA privacy investigation decisions over the past five years; and
- update references to personal information and clarify the ACMA’s approach to consent, material in the public domain, and children’s privacy.
For further information and a copy of the updated guidelines, see here.
Amendment to reduce broadcasting licence fees
The Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Television and Radio Licence Fees) Bill 2016 (Cth) has been introduced to amend the Television Licence Fees Act 1964 (Cth) and the Radio Licence Fees Act 1964 (Cth). The Bill proposes to reduce the licence fees payable by commercial television broadcasting licensees and commercial radio broadcasting licensees by 25 per cent and to include a regulation making power to enable radio licence fee rebates.
ACCC inquiry into wholesale mobile roaming
The ACCC has launched an inquiry into whether to declare a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service to enable mobile service providers to provide coverage for customers in areas where they do not have their own network.
The inquiry will focus on the following key issues:
- how consumer demands for mobile services are evolving, and whether there are differences in regional areas to urban areas;
- the likely investment plans of each of the mobile network operators to extend coverage and upgrade technology, absent a declaration;
- whether there are any significant barriers to expanding the reach of mobile networks; and
- any lessons from similar experience with domestic mobile roaming in other countries.
Some telcos have expressed concerns that the ACCC's potential declaration could be detrimental to investment by telcos in mobile services in regional areas.
The ACCC is to release a discussion paper and invite submissions.
ACMA consultation on Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan
The ACMA is seeking submissions on its proposed update to the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan. The update is intended to reflect new international radio regulations following the World Radiocommunications Conference last year and to provide increased flexibility to support new services.
The proposed revision includes:
- updates reflecting domestic changes in the past four years;
- correction of typographical errors;
- adding two new Australian footnotes to explicitly support the space vehicle tracking treaty between the Australian and United States governments; and
- a provision for increased flexibility to allow the operation of services not specified in the plan in certain circumstances.
For a copy of the discussion paper or to make a submission, see here.
Submissions are sought by 24 October 2016.