Labour proposes Ministry of ICT

Broadcasting, telecommunications and IT policy would be unified

Labour is proposing a single network regulator for telecommunications and broadcasting.

“The convergence of technology across the telecommunications ICT and broadcasting sectors require a converged policy framework to deal with them effectively and efficiently, says broadcasting and ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Labour will prepare a proposal for public consultation within six months of taking office, setting out the path toward a single powerful regulator for telecommunications and broadcasting.”

The legislation would be modelled on the current Telecommunications Act, with particular regard to addressing the impact of monopolies in both the telecommunications and broadcasting marketplaces.

Curran says Labour would also investigate creating a Ministry of Communications and IT, working within the Ministry of Economic Development, to bring together all policy involving broadcasting, telecommunications and information technology issues.

In announcing Labour’s broadcasting policy, she says a new, non-commercial public broadcaster would be established under a Labour government.

The new broadcaster might also include a nationwide news service, based on the outcomes of a national public debate to be completed within one year of Labour winning office.

“This debate will also include a discussion of the institutional form, legislative framework and range of funding options, including the use of existing assets and dividend streams, and other international models, such as those used in Europe and the United States,” Curran says.

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