Self- and co-regulation have become important components of the framework used to regulate the Australian communications industry. This is likely to increase as convergence of communications platforms puts pressure on existing regulatory structures.
Self- and co-regulation usually involve some aspect of consumer and public engagement in the processes the industry employs to formulate rules. However, research on this topic is limited, and there is no analysis of how such participation can best be deployed to ensure self- and co-regulation within the sector (both now and in the future) is responsive and effective.
This project commences that analysis.
The project has two stages:
- In Stage 1 of the project, we have mapped consumer and public engagement within the existing industry rule-making frameworks of the Australian advertising, media, online and telecommunications sectors; reviewed overseas developments in consumer and public engagement in the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US); carried out literature reviews and analysed the data collected. This stage was completed at the end of March 2019.
- In Stage 2 of the project, we will conduct three Round Tables, one with each of the following stakeholder groups: consumers, industry and regulators. Material will be provided to participants in advance, with the Round Tables focussing on certain issues raised by our work to date. Following the three Round Tables, we will review our information and analysis and produce a Final Report for publication. This stage will be completed by August 2019.
Our research is made possible by funding received from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), the Faculty of Law, UTS and the School of Law, University of New England. Funding received from ACCAN is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.