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Review of Internet Content Regulations


16 October 2002 at 1:10 pm
Staff Reporter
The Federal Government has released an Issues Paper seeking public and industry comment on the regulation of Internet content in Australia.

Staff Reporter | 16 October 2002 at 1:10 pm


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Review of Internet Content Regulations
16 October 2002 at 1:10 pm

The Federal Government has released an Issues Paper seeking public and industry comment on the regulation of Internet content in Australia.

The review of Online Co-Regulatory Regulatory Scheme, established under Schedule 5 to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, will investigate the effective operation of legislation for the regulation of Internet content in Australia, and of the community education programs and international liaison under the Scheme.

In 1999, the Government introduced the Scheme to allay community concerns about highly offensive and illegal content on the Internet, particularly its accessibility by children. The Scheme provides for the regulation of Internet service providers (ISPs) and Internet content hosts (ICHs) without placing an undue burden on the Internet industry.

The Scheme provides for a complaints-based legal regime, using existing systems and methods of classifying content administered by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), to regulate the carriage of content over the Internet. The Scheme also provides for international liaison to ensure best practice regulation and certain community education and advice activities.

The issues paper forms the basis of the consultation process of the review and provides extensive background information to assist those wanting to comment in considering the key issues for the operation of the scheme.

If you would like an electronic copy of the Issues paper just send us an e-mail to probono@probonoaustralia.com.au.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 8 November 2002.

By the way, the latest Internet stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that the number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Australia decreased by 32 to 571 in the six month period to the end of March 2002.
This continues the series of declines recorded since the end of September 2000, when there were 718 ISPs.

There were 4.2 million Internet subscribers in Australia at the end of March 2002, a small decline (-43,000) on the number of subscribers at the end of September 2001.

Other results from the ABS Internet Activity Survey were:
 At the end of March 2002, ISPs provided 2,131 points of presence and 447,050 access lines across Australia. There were 7% fewer access lines than at the end of September 2001. On average, there were 9.5 subscribers per Internet access line at the end of March 2002, compared with 8.9 at the end of September 2001.
 There were 1,234 m megabytes (Mbs) of data downloaded by Internet subscribers during the March quarter 2002. This was nearly 3% higher than the volume downloaded during the September quarter 2001. An average of 290 Mbs of data per subscriber were downloaded during the March quarter 2002, compared with 281 Mbs during the September quarter 2001.
 While there is a wide distribution of ISPs across Australia, capital cities accounted for 73% of subscribers and 75% of the access lines at the end of March 2002. There were, on average, 9.3 subscribers per access line in capital cities, downloading an average of 320 Mbs of data during the March quarter 2002. This compared to 9.9 subscribers per access line in other areas, downloading an average of 205 Mbs of data during the March quarter 2002.

What is your partnered Not for Profit organisation doing on-line? Has it upgraded its web site or just gone online in 2002? Why not let us know in our Instant Online Poll at probonoaustralia.com.au.



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