We promote and support Australia’s domestic agenda and communications priorities at an international level.
We represent Australia in international forums where decisions are made that could affect national interests in broadband, communications, the digital economy and other international issues. Our main activities include:
- representing Australia's interests in bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations
- representing Australia in specialised international organisations, such as: ITU, APEC, APT and ICANN
- developing bilateral links with other organisations with responsibility for ICT policy
- raising awareness of Australia's liberalised communications market and innovative business activity
- training and other capacity-building activities to support developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region
We participate in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and in Free Trade Agreement negotiations. We seek liberalisation of international trade in telecommunications services and e-commerce multilaterally, regionally and bilaterally, to the benefit of Australian industry and consumers.
Copies of Australia's Free Trade Agreements are on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
International Telecommunication Union
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) establishes treaty agreements and recommends world standards for telecommunications and radiocommunications (including satellite) services. We manage Australia's membership and participation in the ITU. Australia has been a member of the ITU Council since 1959, and is seeking re-election for another four-year term at the next Plenipotentiary Conference in September 2022.
We support capacity building efforts in the Asia-Pacific region through annual projects with the ITU, and Australia received an award at the ITU World Telecommunications Development Conference for our substantial contributions to this work.
Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT)
The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) is the focal organisation for ICT development and growth in the Asia-Pacific region. We manage Australia’s membership and participation in this forum, including efforts to develop policies and regulatory approaches that build open and competitive telecommunications markets, as well as the adoption of online services by APT member countries.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
We lead Australia's involvement in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TEL).
The TEL gives APEC members a way to share information, consult on policy and regulatory developments, and develop cooperative projects in the telecommunications sector. The TEL is a Working Group and meets twice a year. It holds Ministerial meetings every two to three years.
The TEL aims to improve telecommunications and information infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region by developing and implementing appropriate telecommunications and information policies.
The TEL provides a focus for regional cooperation on market liberalisation, skills development, business facilitation, and technical and economic development in telecommunications and information technology.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
ICANN coordinates policy for internet addresses at a global level, and delegates management of country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) to individual countries (for example domains with .au in the address are Australia’s responsibility).
The Governmental Advisory Committee advises ICANN on internet-related public policy—we represent the Australian Government, and advocate Australia's interests, on this committee.