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Contact Officer & Copyright Details
(Imposition) Amendment Bill 2000
Date Introduced: 10 May 2000
House: House of
Portfolio: Communications, Information Technology and the
Commencement: At the same time as Schedule 6 of the Broadcasting
Services Act 1992 which is being added by the Broadcasting Services
Amendment (Digital Television and Datacasting) Bill 2000.
To amend the Datacasting Charge (Imposition)
Act 1998 (the Principal Act) to:
- reflect the new approach to defining datacasting services in
the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA), and
- to ensure that datacasting charges will not be imposed for
current teletext services.
This Bill accompanies the Broadcasting Services
(Digital Television and Datacasting) Amendment Bill 2000 (the DTaD
Bill), which will establish a new regulatory regime for
datacasting. Readers should consult the Digest of that Bill for
background on this issue.(1)
Teletext services, or textual information
displayed through television, have been provided for a number of
years. This Bill will ensure that the datacasting charges
introduced as part of the conversion to digital television
broadcasting will not apply to such services as long as they remain
substantially in their current form.
The Principal Act imposes a charge to prevent
television broadcasters using their free spectrum to compete
unfairly against service providers who are required to pay for
spectrum use. The amount of the charge is set under section 7 of
the Act by the Australian Communications Authority. It is intended
that the charge be set at a level that is competitively neutral
when compared to the price paid by datacasters for competitively
Items 1 and 3
of Schedule 1 amend Section 3 of the Principal Act
to insert definitions of 'BSA datacasting licence' and 'designated
The definition of 'BSA datacasting licence'
refers to the definition of datacasting licence under Schedule 6 of
the BSA. Schedule 6 is inserted by the DTaD Bill. The definition of
datacasting licence in turn refers to the term 'datacasting
Item 12 of the DTaD Bill inserts a new broad
definition of datacasting service into subsection 6(1) of the BSA.
It is a service which delivers content in the form of text, data,
speech, music, other sounds, visual images or in any other form or
in any combination of forms to people with appropriate equipment
for receiving the content. The service must also be delivered using
the broadcasting services bands.
Item 2 of the Bill ensures that
the meaning of 'datacasting services' is the same as in the
Item 75 of the DTaD Bill inserts a new
definition of 'designated teletext service' into clause 2 of
Schedule 4 of the BSA. This term refers to a teletext service
provided by a commercial television broadcaster for a two year
period prior to the start of schedule 6(3) of the BSA
which remains substantially the same beyond the expiry of that
Item 4 of Schedule
1 inserts proposed paragraph 6(da) in the
Principal Act. Section 6 of the Act sets out the circumstances
under which a datacasting charge is imposed. The new paragraph
excludes designated teletext services from this imposition.
- Bills Digest, no. 179, 1999-2000.
- Hon. Warwick Smith, Second Reading Speech for
Datacasting Charge (Imposition) Bill 1998, House of
Representatives, Hansard 8 April 1998, p 2832.
- Schedule 6 of the BSA is the new datacasting regime.
Kim Jackson and Mark Tapley
9 June 2000
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services
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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000
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