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Internet Industry Association

N  E  W  S      R  E  L  E  A  S  E

21 July 2000

For Immediate Release

IIA Responds to Minister Announcement on Streaming Internet
Content

The IIA has responded to Communications Minister Richard
Alston's statement today that he does not intend to treat
internet streamed content as broadcasting.

IIA executive director, Peter Coroneos said "The review has
concluded within the timeframe that we considered appropriate
in the circumstances. However, until the decision has been
given legal effect, the position of our members will remain
uncertain. We urge the Minister to take all necessary legal
steps to exempt internet streaming from the definition of
'broadcasting services' as he appears empowered to do under
the existing legislation. In addition, we will be seeking
legislative amendment to cement the decision into law, so that
it cannot be undone at any future time without full
parliamentary scrutiny."

Mr Coroneos added, "Our next step will be to push for a full
and complete overhaul of this hopelessly antiquated
[Broadcasting Services] Act. In an era of convergent
technologies, it is unbelievable that we have to operate under
a regulatory regime that pretends that you can draw lines to
separate one form of content from another - based purely on
mode of delivery."

"If we are serious about becoming a truly global player,
developing a high value skills base, fostering innovation,
providing unprecedented choice for all Australians and
conquering the digital divide, then nothing but a complete
paradigm shift in the way we view communications will do."

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More

The Minister's statement included the following text:

"Proposed section 216E of the Broadcasting Services Act to be
inserted by the digital
television legislation recently considered by the Parliament
requires the Minister to "cause
to be conducted a review of whether, in the context of
converging media technologies,
streamed audio and video content obtainable over the internet
should be regarded as a
broadcasting service."

"A review has now been completed and the Government has
decided that Internet audio and video
streaming should not be regarded as a broadcasting service..."

"The Government will now consider whether any further action
is necessary to give effect to
this position and to clarify any legal uncertainties under the
Act."


Ends

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For further comment contact:

Mr Peter Coroneos
Executive Director
Internet Industry Association (IIA)
Phone: +61 2 6232 6900
(for TTY callers, please call 133 677
and ask for 6232 6900)

PO Box 3986 MANUKA  ACT
AUSTRALIA  2603
http://www.iia.net.au


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