The ACMA's paper Connected citizens—A regulatory strategy for a networked society and information economy , is the third in a series of thought leadership pieces framing the ACMA’s consideration of the development of a single, coherent regulatory framework for media and communications.
Connected citizens examines how can regulatory practice can be adapted to deal with 21st century challenges arising from a digital economy and society.
ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman, released the paper during his speech to the Broadband for all seminar in Stockholm. The paper looks at how a coherent unifying regulatory practice can help to balance the two dimensions of this environment, which are:
> administering some 26 Acts and more than 500 pieces of communications and media regulation
> working with industry and the community to solve new issues that arise from technology innovation and emerging concerns of constantly connected citizens.
The ACMA has combined its practical experience and research base to assess how these current tensions can be solved. Employing a mix of strategies within a coherent, unifying,regulatory practice will offer certainty while also creating the flexibility to address the new issues of an information economy
Direct regulation will remain an important way of dealing with established industry participants and known sectors of communications and content industries. In future, the ACMA expects to see an increased emphasis on communication programs to help citizens manage the digital content environment, as well as encourage industry-led responses to emerging issues.
The ACMA commenced this conversation with Broken concepts—The Australian communications legislative landscape, which identified the pressures arising from media and communications convergence on current regulatory and legislative settings. This included an analysis of some of the emerging risks for existing legislative concepts that are in their second decade of operation.
In the follow-up paper, Enduring concepts, the ACMA considered the public interest outcomes providing a stable set of public values that inform and shape regulatory intervention in converged communications and media in Australia,
playing into ongoing development of regulatory responses to the growth of a ‘networked society’.