Today, the Rudd Government has released a Regulatory Reform discussion paper to seek public comment on ways to improve telecommunications regulations to make it work more effectively in the interest of consumers and businesses.
The existing regime needs to be reformed to improve competition and strengthen consumer safeguards, as well as remove redundant and inefficient red tape. A vibrant, competitive telecommunications sector is important for delivering lower prices, better quality and more innovative services for consumers and businesses.
"The Regulatory Reform paper I am releasing today seeks views on the options the Government will consider for reform of the existing regime to make it work more effectively, particularly during the rollout of the NBN", said the Minister for Broadband. Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Conroy.
A wide range of stakeholders, including telecommunications carriers and consumer groups, have expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the current regime.
The Regulatory Reform paper canvasses a range of options for reform, including:
The Government is seeking submissions by 3 June 2009, before making final decisions and introducing legislation into the Parliament.
The Government does not favour any specific reform option. It is, however committed to ensuring that the regulatory framework in this sector is effective in promoting the long term interests of end-users, without imposing any unnecessary burdens on business.
Copies of the Regulatory Reform discussion paper and further information on the enhanced National Broadband Network are available at www.dbcde.gov.au/nationalbroadbandnetwork
7 April 2009