Successfully conducting the digital dividend spectrum auction was a highlight of the 2012–13 reporting year for the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The auction is one of many notable projects featured in the ACMA’s annual report, tabled in federal parliament today.
‘The auction was the culmination of a decade-long program of microeconomic reform, and will facilitate the continued growth of Australia’s digital economy and networked society,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
‘The ACMA’s strategic spectrum work during the year also featured continuing work on its commitment to meet the very important future spectrum needs of Australia’s public safety agencies—namely, a state-of-the-art public safety spectrum solution that will facilitate voice, data and video communications for Australia’s public safety agencies long into the future.’
Other major ACMA projects highlighted in the report include:
- The launch of the Contemporary community safeguards inquiry, to assess what protections the community expects and whether those protections are being maintained in line with rapid changes in society. One outcome of the inquiry will be to focus on regulation that matters—and to strip out what doesn’t.
- The registration of the new Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code, giving consumers more effective and timely protection against bill shock, confusing mobile plans, and poor complaints-handling and customer service.
- A new standard that requires mobile service providers to offer a range of consumer protection features to help overseas travellers manage their mobile use and avoid bill shock. These features include SMS alerts, spend management tools and opt-out arrangements.
Mr Chapman said the ACMA continued to address the broadening challenge within Australia’s complex media and communications environment.
‘The regulator’s role traditionally in this space has been to mitigate risks or threats as citizens manage their communications and media experience, by imposing obligations or providing assistance. For several years now, the ACMA has indicated its view that, in the evolving digital economy and networked society, new risks, threats and innovations are likely to require the regulator to respond with increasing flexibility to provide fit for purpose solutions.’
Some further facts and figures for the year from the report include:
- Complaints about telemarketing fell by 11 per cent from 2011–12, due in part to the successful joint action by international regulators, including the ACMA, to disrupt the activities of the ‘Microsoft imposter’ scammers. Complaints to the ACMA about these scam calls dropped from 5,242 in 2011–12 to 2,757 in 2012–13.
- The ACMA Hotline for complaints about offensive and illegal online content received 4,633 complaints—an eight per cent decrease on the previous year. Investigations into 3,793 items of online content were also finalised, including 1177 investigations into child sexual abuse material.
- The ACMA’s Cybersmart Outreach program delivered 1,193 presentations to more than 211,000 teachers, parents and students, with some 5,700 trainee teachers participated in the Outreach pre-service teacher program being delivered across Australian universities.
- The ACMA received a total of 412,743 complaints, reports and enquiries directly from members of the public about spam. The majority of these—396,908—were about email spam. In addition, nearly 20 million other indirect reports about spam were received in 2012–13.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media release 82/2013 - 31 October