I argued some time back that the launch of the Australian Communications Consumers Action Network (ACCAN) - effectively a government-controlled industry group designed to represent citizens (how this can ever be is surely astounding) - would lead to the end of the true citizens' voice in the tightly-controlled and rather unrepresentative Australian communications industry. The recent collapse of the Internet Industry Association (IIA) continues this inevitable trend.
When the Australian Telecommunications User Group (ATUG) ceased operations in 2011 (soon after ACCAN commenced operations), then Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated that:
The organisation and its members have made a powerful contribution to the telecommunications debate over many years. Sadly, consumers will need more representation rather than less in an NBN world, where the government-owned monopoly will have power to increase prices on most products by 5 per cent more than inflation, and will have no competitive pressure to respond to customer concerns.
When the Australian Government essentially created a lobby group to lobby itself, there was hardly a murmur from the industry. Indeed, ATUG's demise was largely brought about by the larger telcos deciding not to renew their membership.
It seems that the IIA found itself in the same leaky boat.
Now with only the government-controlled ACCAN and the industry-controlled Communications Alliance surviving, Australian consumers have no real voice in the industry at all.