IP development driving trends

Tuesday, 30 June, 2009

The ACMA’s 2009 update of developments in technology, Trends in Communications and Media Technology, Applications and Use, has identified five key developments that are placing pressure on media and communications regulation.

"Investment in broadband, digital and internet protocol (IP)-based infrastructure, and the ongoing evolution in web standards, are influencing technology developments in Australia," said Chris Chapman, ACMA chairman.

IP is becoming increasingly integrated across a range of networks and services. The key developments evident from the embedding of IP platforms are:

  • An increasing use of IP-based video across a range of networks and applications providing further impetus for professionally produced content on the internet;
  • A continued evolution in mobile and other wireless networks and mobile operating systems, all capable of supporting packet-based transmissions and new software applications;
  • The use of web-based computing systems like cloud computing that enable use of centralised computing services, which will materially influence the way people work and the way companies operate.

The rapid expansion of social media meanwhile is fuelling developments in:

  • Social networking and the rise of new media influencers;
  • The personalisation of web experiences, including location-based services.

Trends in Communications provides an overview of infrastructure, applications, social and economic trends and developments and anticipated developments over the next 5–10 years. The report focuses on developments since the release of ACMA’s Top Six Trends in Communications and Technologies in May 2008.

"The views set out in the paper are not put forward as predictions and nor is this an attempt to pick technology winners or losers,’ said Chapman.

‘It postulates that the foundations of convergent communications and media services are now so well advanced that attention to current and emerging regulatory pressure points has become an unavoidable and a critical element in ACMA’s forward planning and how it successfully bridges to the future."

New emerging regulatory challenges identified in the report include:

  • An increasing public interest in data portability between web service providers and the management of online identity, data and reputation;
  • The impact of evolving cyber-crime economies which operate across the internet.

Some of the changes identified further embed established regulatory pressure points, particularly:

  • The increasing demand for and use of radiofrequency spectrum to support IP-based services and the evolution of high-speed data on mobile networks;
  • Managing privacy where there is an increase in location-aware services and the use of personal information for behavioural marketing;
  • Changes in the way content is produced allowing distribution across multiple platforms.

‘While expectations in the short term are likely to be qualified by the current economic downturn, the developments and trends outlined in the report indicate ongoing significant change in the sector over the next five to 10 years," Chapman said.

A copy of the report is available on ACMA’s website.

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