Government announces the Terms of Reference for the Convergence Review

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Wednesday, 2 March 2011 17:35pm

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) today released the Terms of Reference for the Convergence Review. The Convergence Review will examine Australia’s regulatory approach to convergent media, with the Terms of Reference setting the scope of the review.

Convergence refers to the “development of digital broadcasting, data compression and internet-based technologies, coupled with improved infrastructure capability, [which] means that content and services that were previously constrained to one delivery channel can now be delivered over many different platforms”. Examples of convergent media include online TV catch-up services and smartphones, which have phone and Internet capabilities.

Following a two-month consultation over a set of Draft Terms of Reference, the DBCDE largely made only slight changes to the draft terms. However, a new term of reference was added, which will require the review to examine convergence in terms of international experience and Australia’s international obligations.

Importantly for access to convergent media, the review will examine appropriate policy settings to “maximise transparency, choice and access for consumers to the broadest range of content across platforms, and services used to deliver content”.

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