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TelSoc is a multidisciplinary society whose aim is to promote knowledge, understanding and excellence in telecommunications and its applications including the digital economy. There are regular networking activities and lectures in all states of Australia plus two keynote orations each year. TelSoc also publishes the Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy.

Financial members can attend events at little or no charge plus have free access to the Journal. There is also a student membership category at a substantial discount from full membership.

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It would be wrong to expect either market or legislative stability in the telecommunications industry given the rapidly changing technology and the demands of users. Whilst stability may not be achievable there are aspects of telecommunications competition policy that are broken. Now is not the time to take an axe to the telecommunications competition legislation.

It is with the best of intentions that Australia embarked on a program of privatisation that commenced in the 1970s and continues today. It is timely that Emeritus Professor Tevor Barr has authored a novel that was inspired by real events during the privatisation of Australian Government telecommunications assets. The aptly named and newly privatised Telco One has recruited a chief executive officer from New York and the business culture transition begins. Decades after the events described in Professor Barr’s Grand Intentions the Australian telecommunications market remains in a state of constant flux with successive Governments failing to put in place a balanced, fair and open competitive market that would justify the privatisation program. 

Broadband prices differ significantly throughout the world. This article discusses some methodologies for comparing broadband prices between countries, and suggesting five factors that influence broadband prices: supply, demand, governmental policy and regulation, average price level throughout the economy as a whole,  and physical/infrastructural factors. In this discussion, we also examine where Australia sits in relation to global broadband prices.

In this paper a review of existing telecommunications legislation and regulations in New Zealand (NZ) is conducted. The paper highlights the existing legislation in the country and discusses the organizations responsible for regulating the underlying laws. Recommendations for changes to the existing legislation and regulations in NZ are provided which are based on the current and on-going demand for telecommunication services.

The conflict over the frequency arrangements and out-of-band emissions of the mobile terminals below 694 MHz has revealed the tendency of countries in Regions 1 and 2 to align themselves with Region 3 to lower the cost of end-user equipment. This has highlighted that global harmonisation is at the heart of modern spectrum policy. The decision-making procedures are based upon consensus with the possibility of few countries blocking the discussion. There is a need to revise the current ITU-R structure of three regions as convergence is emerging between them. In this era of globalisation, it is not beneficial for a country or a group of countries to act separately from the rest of the world.

The public ombudsman plays an irreplaceable role as an important redress mechanism for individual grievances and as a “watch dog” to administrative justice. By analysing the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) as a case study, this article seeks to examine the nature of the private sector ombudsmen and its changing position in relation to administrative justice. This article argues that the current TIO scheme presents an inappropriate and unreliable situation where the private sector ombudsmen may provide differing rights and remedies from those available in the Courts. An authoritative and standardised quality control assurance mechanism should be established to ensure that consumer complaints are effectively received and fairly handled. 

In this paper we analyse the evolution of the Italian telecommunications market since the beginning of the liberalisation and privatisation process in Italy started in the mid-nineties.  We present a survey of the main regulatory interventions in the industry as well as the market structure and its dynamics in the period 2000-2015. We also provide some insights on the current state of the ultra-fast broadband access and the evolution of the so called “next generation networks”. The recent Italian government’s plan regarding the deployment of the broadband services is also discussed. 

Telecom's directory publishing business produced the White and Yellow Pages directories from 1975 to 1991. In 1976 the directory publishing business was in a crisis; it ranked in the top three of Telecom's public relations problems, was operating at a loss which would rapidly increase, and was becoming untenable. Over the next 15 years the publishing business was transformed to become the most profitable and innovative business in Telecom. This is the story of that transformation.

This article reviews the development and progress of the Korean telecommunications industry. A brief history of Korean telecommunications is provided. The government’s role as a key player within industry and relevant policy is analysed. An analysis of the market competition and regulation systems as well as customer protections is conducted. IoT and 5G technologies are introduced to enable Korea to continue leading the global market.

The requirements for 5G are increased download speeds, the need to deal with increased cell density, increased bandwidth efficiency and availability of new bandwidth. 5G is likely to make use of spectrum in the millimetre range, beam-forming antenna arrays, massive Multi-Input Multi-Output, and fundamental changes to base station design. In this paper the key drivers for 5G are discussed including the very large numbers of devices in cells, the need to make available new spectrum, energy efficient ways of implementing base station capabilities, standards developments so far and 5G related issues for Australia.

This paper considers the social practices of 3D printing by comparing consumer perspectives and practices with legal scholarship on intellectual property regimes. The paper draws on data gained through a mixed-methods approach involving participant observation, focus groups, and social network analysis of 3D printing file-sharing practices. It finds that while consumers display a level of naivety about their 3D printing rights and responsibilities as individuals, they possess a latent understanding about broader digital economies that guide their practices.

The road to net neutrality within the European Union (EU) has been slow and winding. However, a major milestone was reached in August 2016 through the publication of the BEREC Guidelines on the Implementation by National Regulators of European Net Neutrality Rules. This extended article explores the scope of the net neutrality principle as understood and applied in a number of jurisdictions. The approach in the EU is contrasted with the approaches of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States (US) and of a number of other countries.

This paper takes the approach that industry developments, the structure of governmental decision-making bodies, and policy responses are interdependent and mutually shaped. How ministries and regulatory bodies are designed and put together affects both their policy outlooks and managerial capabilities, in turn affecting their policy output. Governments have also consciously restructured ministries and regulators in order to promote specific policy orientations, or in response to changes in the industry. This three-way interaction is critically important to the responses of governments to the emerging broadband ecosystem.  The paper examines four different restructurings in the Korean government, and argues that the identification of a governmental agency as a nodal agency was the result of a new policy orientation, and the response to a change in the industrial environment. Though no two countries are totally similar in terms of their industrial and political environments or policy needs, the paper is based on the premise that the example of South Korea has useful lessons for other countries, as a leading indicator of changes in government regulatory structures in response to convergence and the emergence of the broadband ecosystem.

Grand Intentions by Trevor Barr is an exciting read that involves many themes and works at many levels.  It concerns a fictitious telephone company, Telco One, which is undergoing major change as the Government privatises it.  Telco One is in the throes of moving from a traditional culture based on public sector, even public service, values to a commercial entity subject to the overwhelming imperative of shareholder value.  The twists and turns as Telco One transforms from its previous culture into a dynamic commercial entity are transfixing.  This is a must-read book for those with an interest in what could become a dystopian drama if not for the emergence and re-emergence of grand intentions and praiseworthy aspirations of the characters themselves.

Trevor Barr’s page-turner of a novel Grand Intentions tackles the ugly side of the neo-liberalism sweeping Australia in the 1990s and 2000s.  It examines the privatisation of an incumbent telecommunications carrier, and the drastic impact of its imported US corporate culture on several individuals. He deploys a cast of plausible fictional characters while allowing the narrative to be driven by an echo of real events in the Australian telecommunications industry.

This article describes the telecommunications market in Poland, and explores the organisation and infrastructure of Poland’s networks as well as the evolution of this sector within the last few decades. It attempts to put a number of issues in the Polish experience in perspective. This can be used to focus further efforts in both Poland and in other nations.

This article describes how Australia’s metadata retention and disclosure regime addresses the retention and disclosure of location information and location identifiers by locally licensed providers and those that do not require a licence to operate in Australia. The paper argues the retention limitations in respect of over the-top-content and communications services are undermined by the actions of the agencies to harvest location information and conduct Big Data analytics. So does the discretion granted to the telecommunications service provider to retain location information in respect of over the-top-content and communications services.

A historic paper from the Journal in 1976 regarding the colour conversion of transmitters in the National Television Service by Telecom Australia (now Telstra).

This article provides an overview of the changing legal and regulatory regime for telecommunications and related services in Australia by charting the changes in regulation from 1901 to the present, and by indicating some of the changes that are still evolving. The article is intended to provide a framework for comparison between regulatory regimes in different jurisdictions, and as the basis for further analysis of the sector.

This paper aims at describing the evolution of the telecommunications industry in Spain. It debuts with the monopolist situation of the market in the mid 90s and then analyses the consecutive legal and regulatory reforms designed with a view to the liberalisation and introduction of perfect competition in this economic sector. The paper also considers the relationships and tensions between national Spanish and EU legislation in this area, as well as giving a critical approach on the current organisation model chosen vis-à-vis the independent regulatory authority.

Three historic papers detailing the breadth of research undertaken by the Research Laboratories of the Postmaster-General's Department (now Telstra).

Today Australia's telecommunications market is strongly contested. Competitors with highly skilled, experienced and focused marketing teams battle for market position, market share and profit growth. This has not always been so. Historically Telecom Australia's predominantly engineering culture believed that it only needed a nominal marketing department and no sales force. This is a brief story of the building of a new sales force over the first five years. After five years the "subscribers" were more widely addressed and treated as "customers" but it was to be at least another six years before the company made the customers the focus of the business.

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Society news

At the 2016 Charles Todd Oration event in Sydney on 19 October, Professor Peter Gerrand, Chair of the TelSoc Selection Panel, awarded the 2016 Medallist to Dr Simon Poole, saying “Simon Poole is a technologist and entrepreneur who has made outstanding contributions to the world’s optical fibre infrastructure. Read more

All metadata is not personal, Federal Court rules

Apologies for late delivery, I got a corruption problem with the first PDF. TimH

NBN rollout approaches half-way mark as shift to metro areas gathers pace

Applications open for unsold 700MHz spectrum auction
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has opened applications for the 2017 auction of unsold spectrum licences in the 700MHz band.

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Latest presentation media

This MEMBERS ONLY event incorporates a sandwich lunch, the TelSoc's Annual General Meeting and a presentation about the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) presented by Carolyn Phiddian - GM Technology Strategy / CTO at nbn.

2016-11-29 - 11:30 EST

You may be surprised to know that Australian residential fibre access to not exclusive to the nbn, and that competitive access has been in place since before the nbn.

The TelSoc is privileged to host Phil Smith from Opticom, an Australian pioneer in deployment of fibre explain the competitive fibre access environment in Australia and outline the pros and cons in the existing model.

2016-11-15 - 12:00 EST

What is VHA’s role in the Australian mobile market going forward? How is Australia placed to take advantage of advances in mobile technology such as 5G and IoT??Hear from the CEO of VHA, Iñaki Berroeta, as he draws on his more than 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry globally.

2016-10-19 - 12:15 EST

Professor Farzad Safaei will present and demonstrate the next generation of immersive multimedia collaboration services including large scale multiperson-to-multiperson meeting places for groups of people to work, play, teach, exhibit or socially interact.

2016-09-27 - 12:30 EST

BMW Connected Drive customers benefit from smart vehicle telemetric data to receive a range of in car, concierge, vehicle performance, car-to-car and emergency applications.  Markus Volkmann will provide a number of uses-cases for the connected car and provide a technical overview of the supporting platform ecosystem that provides seamless roaming across service provider networks.

2016-08-30 - 12:30 EST
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