04 November 2013

ACMA as super-regulator?

ACMA's latest annual report [PDF] states that -
The ACMA continues to operate in the context of unprecedented and fundamental internet-driven change. We are doing so consistent with our corporate tagline, which sums up our intent to communicate, facilitate and then regulate.
But it seems unlikely that any new agreed order or commercial equilibrium in media and communications will emerge any time soon. Within our complex networked economy and society, there is a broadening challenge for the regulator. The traditional regulator’s role has been to mitigate risks or harms as citizens manage their communications and media experience, by imposing obligations or providing assistance. We see that in the evolving digital economy and networked society, new risks, harms and innovations are likely to require the regulator to respond with increasing flexibility.
The kicker is in the next paragraph
We also see the strategic need for the development of a single coherent regulatory framework in Australia for media and communications. Our analysis, set out in numerous papers released over the last two years, points to the logic of bringing together all the various elements of media and communications under the umbrella of a single regulatory agency that can deliver timely, ‘fit-for-purpose’ outcomes—a body with a broad remit, empowered with a scalable set of powers and a culture that allows it to operate flexibly in a range of modes and pervasive relationships. The ACMA stands ready to meet that challenge.
In an environment where jobs are being slashed, ACMA (along with the Mounties and Captain America) stands ready to meet the call!

Unsurprisingly there's no reference to the Finkelstein Inquiry recommendation of a more modest regulator.