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Exploring Digital Convergence

Issues for Policy and Legislation

Hon Amy Adams, Minister for Communications and Minister of Broadcasting
Hon Amy Adams, Minister for Communications and Minister of Broadcasting

Foreword

The ever expanding digital world is impacting almost every aspect of our lives.

Growing numbers of digital communications platforms like social media, blogs and websites support fast and easy access to content and services. We’ve come to rely on them for business, government, education, health and other social services.

New opportunities and challenges have arisen as the telecommunications and information technology sectors have converged with the broadcasting and media sectors and as content has become decoupled from delivery networks.

We shouldn’t underestimate the scale of the impact convergence is having in New Zealand.

At the highest level, convergence provides businesses with the opportunity to expand into new services and products and new markets.

In New Zealand we are seeing increasing competition across the sectors, and companies expanding into new areas. The increasingly global marketplace is seeing international barriers crumble as both providers and consumers find new and innovative ways of doing business.

Local providers are now able to compete on a global scale, while domestic consumers can access new international, as well as domestic, content and services. These opportunities can bring huge benefits in terms of more choice and lower prices for New Zealanders.

As choice and availability increase, our expectations are changing rapidly too. Data and applications are now mission-critical for businesses. Consumers expect reliable, always-on internet connections, and want to be able to access content at anytime, anywhere in the country – at home, at work, and on the move.

The impact of these changes on our legislation needs to be considered. In many cases legislation was written before the impacts of convergence were present in New Zealand.

To ensure New Zealanders are fully able to realise the potential benefits and opportunities presented by convergence, we need to make sure our legislation is fit for purpose and able to withstand the rapid changes we are seeing across the sectors.

This paper explores the context in which our legislation is now operating. Recognising this context the Government will be releasing several consultation documents considering specific issues.

This work is part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda work on Building Innovation, ensuring that we proactively review market regulations to ensure they support the development of new, innovative products and services.

Your views are an important part of our work to ensure the overall approach to legislation is consistent and reflects the reality of a converged market.

 

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