Institutional details 2015
Name of Authority
Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
Year created 2005
Legal document that created the authority
The ACMA was established in 2005 but the initial regulator (Australian Telecommunications Authority, AUSTEL) was established in 1989. In 1997, AUSTEL merged with the Spectrum Management Authority to form the Australian Communications Authority. The ACMA was established under the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 with the merger of the Australian Communications Authority and the Australian Broadcasting Authority. The ACCC was established in 1995 with the amalgamation of the Australian Trade Practices Commission and the Prices Surveillance Authority to administer the Trade Practices Act 1974 (renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010).
Reports to Annual report to the Sector Ministry & Other: Reports specified under legislation
Does the Regulatory Authority also regulate other public utilities (e.g. electricity, gas, etc.)?
Is the Regulatory Authority autonomous in its decision making?
Who approves the budget of the Regulator?
Indicate the percentage of budget financed from each source:
Licence fees; ; percentage: Government appropriation; ; percentage: 98% Numbering fees; ; percentage: Spectrum fees; ; percentage:
Structure of the Regulator 2015
Name of the Head of the Regulatory Authority:
Mr Chris Chapman (Chairman)
Is it a collegial body? Yes
Total number of members n/a
Is the Head of the commission also responsible for day to day administrative matters? Yes
Who appoints the Members/Head?
Period of appointment (years): n/a
Total number of staff in the Regulatory Authority: 470
Regulatory Functions 2015
R Licensing
R Interconnection rates
R NR Price Regulation
No retail price regulation
R Op Technical standards settings
ACMA/Industry representative body co-regulation
R Radio frequency allocation
R Spectrum monitoring and enforcement
R Numbering
R Type approval
Labelling regime applies
R Op Service quality monitoring
The ACMA monitors compliance with standards and registered codes.
M R Universal Service
Minister can make standards, rules and benchmarks. The Department of Communications administers contracts; the ACMA administers and collects the industry levy.
R Op Quality of service standards
Industry can make codes, which can be registered by the ACMA. The ACMA can also make industry standards.
R Enforcement of quality of service obligations
R Op Broadcasting
R Broadcasting content
Op Information technology
R Internet content
Key: M - Sector Ministry
R - Regulatory Authority
Om - Other Ministry or Government body
Op - Operator
O - Other
NR - Not regulated
Recent Legislation 2015
2006 Datacasting Transmitter Licence Fees Act 2006
An Act to impose fees, by way of taxes, in relation to channel A datacasting transmitter licences, and for related purposes
2006 Do Not Call Register Act 2006
An Act to establish a Do Not Call Register, and for other purposes
2005 Interactive Gambling Act 2001
An Act about interactive gambling, and for related purposes
2004 Spam Act 2003
Prohibits unsolicited commercial electronic messaging
1999 Telecommunications ((Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act
Provides for the universal service regime, the national relay service, untimed local calls, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Scheme and other consumer measures.
1999 Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999
A universal service regime is established. The main object of the universal service regime is to ensure that all people in Australia, wherever they reside or carry on business, should have reasonable access, on an equitable basis, to (a) standard telephone services; and (b) payphones; and (c) prescribed carriage services; and (d) digital data services.
1999 Telstra (Further Dilution Of Public Ownership) Act
Privatisation of another tranche of Telstra, see also Telstra Corporation Act 1991 and 1997 legislation
1998 Datacasting Charge (Imposition) Act 1998
An Act to impose a charge in relation to the provision of datacasting services by the ABC, the SBS and commercial television licensees
1997 Australian Communications Authority Act
Established and set up the functions of the ACA which extend to the technical regulation and spectrum management.
1997 Radiocommunications (Spectrum Licence Tax) Act 1997
An Act to impose a tax in relation to spectrum licences under the Radiocommunications Act 1992

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