Digital Regulation Platform
Australia’s Digital Platforms Inquiry

Australia’s Digital Platforms Inquiry

Introduction The Digital Platforms Inquiry undertaken by Australia’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), during the period from December 2017 to June 2019 was one of the most comprehensive conducted to that time. It was commissioned by the Australian government because of the recognition that major digital platforms were dominating the Australian media and advertising landscape and transforming the way in which Australians were engaging both socially and economically. It further recognized that current legislation and regulation may well have become ineffective when dealing with the new issues for competition and consumer protection that have arisen as…

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Competition and regulatory challenges for microstates

Competition and regulatory challenges for microstates

Introduction Throughout the world consumers have similar expectations from the digital economy. They look for data speeds, network coverage, and reliability that allows effective access to the myriad of cloud-based and over-the-top (OTT) services that are now available, and they expect prices both for services and for equipment to be set so that they can afford to access such content. In order to meet these expectations, most countries have adopted a model of regulated competition, in which a small number of licensed network operators compete to provide digital networks and services, each of which is supervised by a national regulatory…

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Examples of quality of service presentation by regulators

Examples of quality of service presentation by regulators

Uganda Two parameters (both for voice) were measured for four operators in eleven cities (UCC 2019). The numbers of measurements (and the confidence intervals) were not stated. The measurement results are shown below for the voice parameters in the three cities in one region, East. Source: UCC 2019. Source: UCC 2019. Ghana Eight parameters (five for voice and three for data) were measured for four operators in 119 districts of five regions (NCA 2018). The numbers of measurements (and the confidence intervals) were not stated. The measurement results were tabulated separately for each operator. They are shown here for the…

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Crowdsourcing techniques in quality of service assessment

Crowdsourcing devices for fixed and mobile networks Crowdsourcing for quality of service monitoring involves collecting data as measurements from “data collection devices” on user connections for processing into measurement results by the “data collector.” The data collector provides measurement results to the general public and to other organizations, such as operators, regulators, and consumer groups. The data collection device might be the user terminal or a special device associated with the user terminal. In fact: For fixed networks crowdsourcing the data collection device is often the user terminal. Many regulators suggest or even provide online applications that users can initiate…

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The relation between quality of service and quality of experience

Factors influencing the quality of experience Quality of experience (QoE) is now taken to be “the degree of delight or annoyance of the user of an application or service,” following ITU-T Recommendation P.10/G.100 (ITU-T 2017). Conventionally it is regarded as being determined by “influencing factors” of the following kinds, which are discussed in more detail in Qualinet White Paper (Qualinet 2013): Human-related influencing factors: properties of users, such as gender, age, education, background, expertise, feeling, expectation, hearing, and sight. System-related influencing factors: properties of ICT used, such as power consumption, usability of input and output devices, accuracy of encoding and…

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The ECTEL experience of quality of service regulation

The ECTEL experience of quality of service regulation

Introduction The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) develops model laws and regulations for five countries: Dominica, Grenada, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The models are transposed into national acts and regulations according to national priorities. ECTEL consulted on its draft quality of service regulations, first in 2005 and then in 2006, before adopting them in 2007. Four of the ECTEL countries then transposed the regulations into their national frameworks: Dominica in 2008, Grenada in 2009, Saint Christopher and Nevis in 2008, and Saint Lucia in 2007. ECTEL proposed revisions to the regulations in…

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The Anatel (Brazil) approach to quality of service monitoring for mobile services

The Anatel (Brazil) approach to quality of service monitoring for mobile services

Basis The regulator monitors the quality of mobile telephony in six parameters. This number has been reduced, most recently from fourteen in 2019. Small operators, which are defined as ones with a national market share of less than 5 per cent in each of their retail markets, are exempt from quality of service monitoring. For each parameter there is a target. The extent to which targets are reached has been rising: it was 79.7 per cent in 2015, 80.9 per cent in 2016, 81.1 per cent in 2017, 83.4 per cent in 2018 and 84.3 per cent in 2019. The…

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Reference sources and further reading

Reference sources Several websites offer much relevant content for regulators, including but not restricted to material related to consumer affairs. Those listed below both supplement the Digital Regulation Handbook and Platform and will keep readers updated on future developments. https://digitalindex.consumersinternational.org/ Consumer International’s ”collection of digital policies and initiatives from different countries that aim to protect and empower consumers in the digital world.” https://www.consumersinternational.org/news-resources/publications/page/1 Latest publications from Consumers International. The list contained several substantial reports on consumer research and policy, largely related to the digital world. https://www.internetjurisdiction.net/publications/retrospect#eyJ0byI6IjIwMjAtMDMifQ== Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network Retrospect Database, goes back to 2012, searchable by topic…

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Social media platform regulation

The moderation of online content, especially on social media platforms, is a pressing issue for consumers and citizens. Experience of the Facebook Oversight Board, a self-regulatory initiative, will affect the future not only of Facebook, but also of other regulatory initiatives relating to social media and platforms more generally (including self-regulatory[1] and coregulatory initiatives. Within any one platform, there may be tensions between simple commercial considerations and political/public relations imperatives. To these may be added actual legal constraints, such as already exist in Germany[2] and are proposed in the United Kingdom,[3] to combat online harms. A valuable overview of the…

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Dispute resolution and redress

Dispute resolution and redress

Existing arrangements Source: Antelope Consulting. Ensuring that consumers’ complaints about providers are dealt with in a fair way is an important continuing duty for most ICT regulators. This is why a 2019 ITU Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) Discussion Paper focused on dispute resolution and redress. It identified different types of dispute handling mechanism, as shown in the box below. Consumer dispute handling mechanisms In-house complaints procedures: conducted by the provider of the services or product. Mediation: conducted confidentially by an independent third party working towards a negotiated agreement of a dispute. Conciliation: a third party takes a more active…

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