CSG record–keeping rules | ACMA

CSG record–keeping rules

Record-keeping rules for Customer Service Guarantee benchmarks

The Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Record-Keeping Rules 2011 (the Rules) commenced on 1 October 2011. The purposes of the Rules are to ensure that qualifying carriage service providers (QCSPs) keep the necessary records, and provide to the ACMA the necessary information, to enable the ACMA to effectively:

The Rules require QCSPs to:

  • keep and retain records in relation to compliance with the Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Standard 2011 (CSG Standard) and the CSG benchmarks; and
  • prepare and give to the ACMA, reports in the form specified in the Rules and which consist of information contained in those records.

The Rules and the accompanying explanatory statement can be found on the Comlaw website.

Application

The Rules apply to the class of carriage service providers specified in the CSG benchmarks as QCSPs.

A carriage service provider is a QCSP for a benchmark period if, on the last day of the financial year preceding that benchmark period, it supplied 100,000 CSG services or more where the carriage service provider was obliged to comply with any one or more of the performance standards in respect of the its supply of those CSG services.

Enforcement

Compliance with the Rules is a requirement of section 530 of the Tel Act. The range of enforcement options for non-compliance includes formal warnings, remedial directions, infringement notices and initiating civil penalty proceedings.

The making of an incorrect record is an offence under section 531 that is punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units or $18,000 as at June 2015.

Reporting

  • A QCSP must provide performance reports for 12 month period ending on 30 June.
  • The reports must be provided to the ACMA within 40 working days of the end of each six month period (unless otherwise agreed by the ACMA in writing).
  • The reported information must be disaggregated into national and community size classification (Urban, Major Rural, Minor Rural, Rural and Remote areas in accordance with the CSG benchmarks definitions and obligations).

Recent amendments to the Rules

The Rules were recently changed to complement the latest amendments to the CSG Benchmarks, and to simplify and enhance performance recording and reporting.

Amendments to the CSG Benchmarks, which commenced on 1 July 2012, clarified the application of the benchmarks. Arrangements made under sections 9 and 14 of the CSG Standard are now included when calculating whether a QCSP has met or exceeded a minimum benchmark.

The key changes to the Rules are:

  • For connections, QCSPs must record and report performance at an aggregate level, irrespective of whether the connection was completed:
  • in time frames that were made by arrangement (under section 9 of the CSG Standard); or
  • within the guaranteed maximum connection period (under Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the CSG Standard).
  • For repairs, QCSPs must record and report performance at an aggregate level, irrespective of whether the repair was completed:
  • in time frames that were made by arrangement (under section 14 of the CSG Standard), or
  • within the guaranteed maximum rectification period (under section 11 of Division 3 of the CSG Standard).
  • Performance in meeting the timeframes specified in Telstra's Standard Marketing Plan (as required by subsection 8(2) of the CSG Standard) is no longer required to be reported under the Rules. However, performance must still be recorded.

These amendments to the Rules which commenced on 1 July 2012 and the accompanying explanatory statement can be found on the Comlaw website.

The Rules were further amended under the Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee and Payphone Performance Benchmarks) Record-Keeping Rules Amendment 2014 (No.1) (the Amendment Rules 2014) which commenced on 30 September 2014. The Amendment Rules 2014 reduced the reporting obligations on QCSPs by decreasing the frequency with which QCSPs have to report to the ACMA from six-monthly to annual and the level of disaggregation of the data required in those reports (from state or territory, national and community size classification to national and community size classification).

The Amendment Rules 2014 and Explanatory Statement can be found on the Comlaw website.

Customer Service Guarantee Performance benchmarks

The Minister has prescribed minimum performance benchmarks for ensuring compliance with the CSG Standard. These minimum benchmarks are set out in the Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee - Retail Performance Benchmarks) Instrument (No.1) 2011 (CSG benchmarks) which commenced on 1 October 2011. The CSG benchmarks apply to QCSPs (currently Telstra, Optus, Dodo and iiNet) who must meet or exceed the performance benchmarks which apply on a financial year basis according to the following location-specific thresholds:

  • 10,000 CSG services or more in urban areas;
  • 1,000 CSG services or more in major rural areas;
  • 1,000 CSG services or more in minor rural areas;
  • 1,000 CSG services or more in rural areas;
  • 500 CSG services or more in remote areas.

The CSG retail performance benchmarks are outlined in Table 1 below.

Table 1 – CSG retail performance benchmarks (covering financial years)



Benchmark

New connections:

 

Urban areas (national)

90%

Major rural areas (national)

90%

Minor rural areas (national)

90%

Remote areas (national)

90%

In-place connections:

 

All areas (national)

90%

Fault rectifications:

 

Urban areas (national)

90%

Rural areas (national)

90%

Remote areas (national)

90%

Appointment-keeping (national)

90%

The range of enforcement options available to the ACMA for failure by a ‘qualifying carriage service provider’ to reach a performance benchmark include formal warnings, enforceable undertakings, remedial directions, infringement notices and initiating civil penalty proceedings. The Minister has prescribed the penalty amounts that must be applied to an infringement notice depending on the extent of the failure to reach a performance benchmark. Table 2 outlines the infringement notice penalty amounts.

Table 2 – Infringement notice penalty amounts for breach of CSG retail performance benchmarks

Extent of failure to meet benchmark

Penalty units

Infringement notice amount

Less than 2 percentage points

3,000

$540,000

2 percentage points or more but less than 5 percentage points

6,000

$1,080,000

5 percentage points or more

9,000

$1,620,000

The CSG benchmarks and the accompanying explanatory statement can be found on the Comlaw website.

Last updated: 23 November 2015