The Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 (the Act) states that certain carriers and carriage service providers (CSPs) must enter into the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) scheme. This includes a CSP who supplies or arranges for the supply of:
In deciding whether a carrier or provider should be declared exempt, the ACMA must have regard to the following matters:
the extent to which the carrier or provider deals with residential customers in relation to the supply of carriage services
the extent to which the carrier or provider deals with proprietors of small businesses in relation to the supply of carriage services
the potential for complaints under the TIO scheme about services supplied by the carrier or provider.
The ACMA is required to consult with the TIO before declaring a provider exempt from the requirement to join the TIO scheme (subsection 129(4)).
Any exemption from the requirement to join the TIO, declared by the ACMA, is not permanent but may be revoked at any time if circumstances warrant it.
The ACMA may exempt a carrier or an eligible carriage service provider (CSP) from joining the TIO scheme. To apply for an exemption a carrier or CSP must complete an application form. A register is maintained of each exemption granted by the ACMA.