The term ‘emergency’ is defined in section 275C of the Telecommunications Act 1997 as an emergency or disaster (however described) within the meaning of an emergency law. Section 6 of the Telecommunications (Data for emergency warning systems) Instrument 2010 specifies the laws of each state and territory that are emergency laws for the purposes of the definition. This definition may cover small-scale events, such as bushfires that might affect only a few properties in a defined geographic area, and large-scale disasters. It may also cover an emergency or disaster irrespective of whether that event has been officially ‘declared’ as a state of emergency.
The exemption is intended to allow individuals who are adversely affected by an emergency to have access to prepaid mobile carriage services as soon as reasonably practicable in the circumstances.
An ‘exempt individual’ is defined in the Determination as an individual whose principal place of residence has been destroyed, rendered uninhabitable or made inaccessible as a result of an emergency.
A CSP can distribute end-user equipment (for example, a handset with SIM) directly to an exempt individual or to an emergency assistance organisation or authorised party on the condition that it is done so in accordance with Part 3 of the Determination.
An emergency assistance organisation means an entity registered on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission register defined in Division 40 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012.
A prepaid mobile carriage service supplied under Part 3 can only remain activated for a maximum of 30 days, unless the ACMA approves a longer period in writing.
CSPs are also required to keep a register of the prepaid mobile carriage services supplied under Part 3. The information that must be recorded on that register is set out in subsection 3.1(4). This obligation is in addition to a CSP’s obligation to keep records under Part 7 of the Determination.