[it wire] The ACMA has kicked off a new approach to how it provides information to the industry and the community as a whole with release of the first of four reports on the digital economy, all designed to complement its annual statutory report to the minister.
The first report - Australia in the digital economy: The shift to the online environment - "outlines digital economy developments in Australia for the 2009–10 reporting period in terms of three broad themes; connectivity, capability and confidence, drawing on a range of survey and industry data sources…[and] also represents data on the impacts of the Internet on use of traditional communications and media services."
The next three reports, to be released before year-end, will look at: take-up and use of voice services by Australian consumers; Australian consumer satisfaction with communication services, and changing business models in the Australian communication and media sectors: challenges and response strategies.
Paul White, the ACMA's executive manager NBN and industry monitoring, said: "A key part of the what the ACMA needs to do is to report annually to the minister on the industry's performance particularly in relation to consumer benefits, consumer satisfaction and quality of service.
"Traditionally we have done this through the production of a one-off annual communications report. The value of that work is that it brings together current Australian data on what has happened over the preceding 12 months. We take data from a number of key sources, such as the ABS, and we commission our own research and subscribe to sources relevant to us.
"Looking at our process this year it seemed to us that we were missing an opportunity to get this information into the marketplace. And we received the Authority's support to develop a suite of four complimentary reports to add value to the statutory report, which we expect the minister to table later this year.
"They are designed to better inform the community and policy makers about the progress of the digital economy as it impacts on end user."
White said the four reports represented the first outputs of what is "very much a work in progress. We will be looking for feedback as to whether this new approach is helpful and if so we hope to progressively improve how we get this information out and how to better target it for the value we put into it."
He added: "This year we are also trying to get the data we are producing out in the market through Wordpress, which is a blogging service and other social media."
Joseph Di Gregorio, the ACMA's manager for review and reporting said: "This is a substantial body of work that we believe is telling some significant new messages that will be of interest to both the marketplace and to policymakers."
Tom Burton, the ACMA's executive manager, media and communications, added: "This a very fast moving area and the lot of the data is very internationalised. So we are looking to have something that is very up to date and very Australianised.
"I think the strength of this product will be that it tries to pull everything together into one place and I am not aware of anything else that does that to the same extent."
ACMA ramps up digital economy reporting