Last updated: 28 Jan 2010 Update History
Report Status: Archived
Report Pages: 7
Analyst: Paul Budde
A very important change under the Telecommunications Act 1996, was the declaration, or deeming, of broadband cable networks. Until the Act came into force the cable operators could refuse channel operators access to their networks, thus giving them yet another way to monopolise the market. As a declared service the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) can arbitrate in situations whereby commercial arrangement between the cable operator and the channel provider cannot be made. Despite all this, so far no independent organisations have been able to gain access to the pay TV networks. Please note that is this report is updated infrequently.
The main regulatory issues faced by the industry include the break up of Telstra and anti-hording provisions. Telstra is set for shake-up, its biggest challenge since privatisation, as a result of Federal Government plans that will see the telco split and the introduction of sterner consumer safeguards. Federal Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy shocked the industry with his announcement late 2009 that Telstra must structurally separate voluntarily - and if not the Government would force a split under a new regulatory regime.
The anti-siphoning scheme is also under review by the Government. The scheme aims to ensure that certain events are available to the whole viewing public by preventing pay TV licensees from acquiring exclusive rights to listed events. The current anti-siphoning list comprises domestic and international sporting events in 12 categories including cricket, tennis, golf, motor sports and the football codes.
This report is provided as a background report and was archived in 2010 and is not updated. For recent information on Free-to-Air TV, Cable TV, Satellite TV and Pay TV see separate reports: https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Countries/Australia/TV-Free-to-Air
As you know, I have resigned from the Labor Ministry and have decided not to re-contest the seat of Charlton at the next election – both for personal reasons.
Before leaving Parliament, I particularly wish to record my thanks to you for your generous and constructive participation in the deliberations that generated significant economic policy reforms for the Australian community. Continuous economic transformation is a key challenge that faces all Governments.
The development of sound public policy should always be contestable. Ultimately, good and equitable outcomes are not concessions to any particular interest group, but the careful balancing of interests to create the greatest possible benefit for the nation. You have contributed to that, and I sincerely thank you for it.
Greg Combet, Former Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation
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