The Rise of the Australian Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

Publisher:
Elsevier Science
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Telecommunications Policy, 2002, 26 (1-2), pp. 69 - 85
Issue Date:
2002-01
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Australia is the first jurisdiction in the world to introduce a national private telecommunications industry ombudsman. Created in 1993, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has grown in jurisdiction and importance, becoming a regulatory cornerstone of the fully competitive post-1997 Australian telecommunications regime. This paper examines the role of the TIO as a mechanism for dispute resolution and as an industry regulator, suggesting that it provides an example of an innovatory regulatory process which transcends the divide between deregulation and proregulation. This raises the question as to the applicability of the ombudsman institution in terms of the regulation of telecommunications. Through highlighting the conciliatory nature of the ombudsman, the role of the TIO as a regulator is considered in its Australian context.
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