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Broadcasting and Broadband

Date: Thursday, 1 October 2009

This seminar was about the new audiovisual channels, and channels about to launch.  The purpose was to help people understand what new services are most likely to succeed, what they mean for existing services, and what policy changes are needed.

Services include Internet-delivered services like podcasts, vodcasts, ‘broadbandcasts’, various flavours of IPTV, catch-up TV and radio, streaming TV and radio.  Then there is a swag of radiated terrestrial services such as free-to-air TV multichannels, the extra DAB+ radio channels, ever-increasing subscription channels, and a further increase from the Optus D3 satellite.  All this arriving on a myriad of desk-based, set-top, mobile and gaming devices.  The seminar aimed to sort out what is happening, what is feasible, and whether there are obstacles which must be removed.

Seminar Program
SESSION 1 (2:00-3:30) New digital services, and how they push the boundaries
Kim Dalton, Chair, Freeview
Deanne Weir
, Group Director, Corporate Development & Legal Affairs, AUSTAR
Ian McGarrity
, Director, IMW Media Services
This session is about which of the new channels and services are most likely to flourish, in which markets; and with what technology.  How are communications players equipping themselves to be part of the new platforms and services, including ISPs, subscription TV, free TV, and digital media large and small?

SESSION 2 (4:00-5:30) Legal and regulatory boundaries
Ian McGill, Partner, Allens Arthur Robinson
Andrew Stewart, Partner, Baker & McKenzie
Peter Leonard, Partner, Gilbert + Tobin
New services are challenging the broadcasting, copyright, telecommunications and radiocommunications laws.  For example:
- What is broadcasting in a TransACT, FTTP, ISP or satellite environment? 
- What will be treated differently because it is ‘using the Internet’. 
- What channels require some kind of service licence? 
- What will be the effect of various laws about topics like: anti-siphoning, re-transmission, Australian TV content, local radio content, censorship and advertising?
- How does the combination of copyright laws and broadcasting rules affect the new services; and can new agreements resolve the IP issues?

Resources from the seminar
Kim Dalton - speaking notes
Ian McGarrity -  Powerpoint presentation
Deanne Weir - Powerpoint presentation

NOTE: The specific issues listed for sessions are indicative, and not binding on discussion-openers.

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