Net's use in policy stalled as telcos face ACCC crackdown

It seems the Australian government's acceptance of Net technologies as part of the policy process has lost momentum. Following Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy's two week trial of a blog on Digital Economy future issues in December last year, there has been little momentum to keep up with new ways of engaging with citizens electronically.

This comes at a time when the telecommunications industry is attracting around 4,000 complaints to the ACCC from consumers each year.

However, the aptly-named Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) started developing video content delivered via youtube, but this development has also stalled since the trial ended.

DBCDE should invest more in this type of Net content to facilitate the policy process becoming more open and transparent to citizens. Regulators should only enforce the public interest as mandated by government policy. The Net could be considered as a public utility in this regard and utilised by the government to encourage participation.

Given the ACCC's view that the communications industry is 'consistently the most complained about industry sector in Australia', some more 'broadband leadership' from the government would be quite timely. Regardless, letting the people know what is happening in broadband using the medium itself makes good sense!