Singapore’s legislative assembly yesterday (16 August) passed the Info-communications Media Development Authority Bill, paving the way for the merger of the Info-communications Development Authority (IDA) and Media Development Authority (MDA), as the government seeks to adapt its regulatory structure to better address the rapidly-changing and increasingly converged telecoms and media sectors. With traditional telcos stepping up their challenge in the pay-TV/IPTV content sphere, and TV broadcasters fighting for space against over-the-top (OTT) providers such as Amazon and Netflix, the government believes that the creation of a super regulator – the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) – will be better suited to coordinate future convergence in the industry.
In a statement, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said: ‘IMDA will build on the success of IDA and MDA, and help develop Singapore as a future-ready infocomm media hub. Consumers will also be a key focus for IMDA, ensuring that they continue enjoying a variety of infocomm media services at good service standards and competitive prices.’ The minister went on to point out that as a unified body: ‘IMDA will be better poised to address the talent needs and develop professional skills for the infocomm media sector. It will do this by building interests and cultivating talents from young and introducing our students and young adults to the exciting world of infocomm media.’