Communication industry groups to merge

Communication industry groups to merge

Two of the country's leading communications industry groups are set to join forces and form a new body called the Communications Alliance.

The boards of the Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) and the Service Providers Association (SPAN), have been in discussions about merging since early this year. Providing the members of both bodies agree to the merger, which is expected, the new alliance will come into effect on September 1.

Anne Hurley, who is currently CEO of the ACIF, will take on the leadership role at Communications Alliance.

She said the combined groups would have 100 members. These ranged from large telcos through smaller ISPs, hardware and service providers. Hurley described the new body as "one voice coming together". It would offer better representration for the industry by tackling future trends and technologies and pushing industry issues through to the government, she said.

The Alliance would engage in a wide range of industry activities, including exploration, investigation and discussion of emerging industry trends such as VoIP or Broadband over Power Lines. It also planned to take participate in critical discussion and debate of the regulatory and policy issues raised by these trends.

"Ultimately, this will lead to development of practical, industry-led guidelines that are needed to support the implementation framework for next-generation networks," Hurley said.

The charter for the new organisation would be thrashed out in the New Year.

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