The ACMA may under section 376 of the Telecommunications Act 1997, make technical standards for specified telecommunications customer equipment or customer cabling. The ACMA technical standards address issues related to protecting personal health and safety, protecting the integrity of telecommunications networks, ensuring the supply of a standard telephone service and ensuring access to emergency call services.
Technical standards made under section 376 of the Telecommunications Act automatically adopt industry standards 'in full' (that is, all substantive requirements and test methodologies form part of the mandatory requirements). This is because many telecommunications industry standards have been developed for regulatory adoption.
The following ACMA technical standards are specified in Schedule 1 of the Telecommunications (Labelling Notice for Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Instrument 2015 (the TLN).
The ACMA has power under section 380 of the Act, to make disability standards. Standards made under section 380 apply to customer equipment that uses a telephone handset or a keypad that is for use with a standard telephone service. The customer equipment is used primarily by persons who do not have a disability and has features designed to cater to any or all of the special needs of persons with disabilities. Section 380 standards are not listed in the TLN and do not form part of the mandatory requirements specified in the TLN.
All industry standards are available from SAI Global. Current and superseded AS/ACIF or AS/CA industry standards are available from the Communications Alliance website.
Changes to standards - transition periods
An item must meet the requirements of the applicable ACMA technical standard/s that is in force at the time the product is first supplied to the market (at the point where the Declaration of Conformity (DoC) is signed).
When an ACMA technical standard, or the underlying industry standard, is amended or replaced, or a new standard is introduced, a transition period applies. The transition period is two years, or such lesser period that is specified in the standard. During the transition period, both the old and the amended/replacement standard apply.
During the transition period, a supplier of a new product may choose to comply with either the old or amended/replacement standard. The product must not be tested against a combination of the two standards.
Continued supply of a product compliant to an expired standard (grandfathering)
A supplier may continue to supply a product that has been tested to an expired standard, provided that standard was in effect at the time of signing the DoC. A supplier is not required to re-test the product to the amended or replacement standard.
However, these arrangements do not apply if at least one of the following occurs:
the product is subsequently modified—the product may need to be re-tested in part or in full to the replacement standard, depending on the modification
continued supply of the product/s would have an adverse effect on safety, or on the integrity of a telecommunications network or facility
a radiocommunications product is compliant with the Radiocommunications (Low Interference Potential Devices) Class Licence 2015 (the LIPD class licence), and the LIPD class licence includes provisions that do not allow for grandfathering to occur (for example, wireless microphones).
On the 17 February 2015, the ACMA revoked a number of Telecommunications Technical Standards made under section 376 of the Act. A list of the standards that have been revoked and not remade can be found here.
Conduct the appropriate testing (if required).