Chapter 9 of the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code C628:2015 (TCP Code) sets out industry compliance and monitoring arrangements. It requires CSPs who are covered by the TCP Code to implement a Code Compliance Framework, which includes lodging a statement addressing certain matters relating to code compliance. This statement—known as a Compliance Attestation—must be lodged with Communications Compliance Ltd (CommCom) by a specified date each year.
In 2016, key changes were made to the process for lodgement of compliance documents and the provision of information to Communications Alliance.
How do I know if I need to lodge a Compliance Attestation?
If you are covered by the TCP Code, then you need to submit a Compliance Attestation. If you aren’t sure if the TCP Code applies to your business, ask yourself:
- Am I a carriage service provider?
Do I supply goods or services for use in connection with the supply of a listed carriage service – that is, carriage services between two or more points, at least one of which is located in Australia?
Are any of my customers residential and/or small business consumers?
If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you are most likely covered by the TCP Code and are required to lodge an annual Compliance Attestation with CommCom.
Who is CommCom?
CommCom is an independent body, separate from the ACMA, which monitors and reports on code compliance and is primarily responsible for overseeing the Code Compliance Framework set out in Chapter 9 of the TCP Code.
When do I have to submit the Compliance Attestation?
- Smaller providers—those with less than 3,000 services in operation (SIO)—are required to submit Compliance Attestation with CommCom by 1 April each year.
- Larger providers—those with 3,000 or more SIO—are required to lodge a Compliance Attestation with CommCom by 1 September each year.
I am a smaller provider, why can’t I lodge in September?
Under the new arrangements, smaller providers (those with less than 3,000 SIO) can request to defer lodgement of Compliance Attestation to the second lodgement window ending 1 September. However, to be eligible to defer your lodgement, you must notify CommCom of your intention to defer in the first lodgement period (by 1 April).
For more information on lodgement and deferral, contact CommCom.
What happens if I miss the lodgement date?
Lodgement dates are ‘hard’ dates specified in the TCP Code. If you miss lodgement by your specified date, you could be investigated by the ACMA for failure to comply with the TCP Code.
Did you know you also have to register with Communications Alliance?
In addition to providing your compliance attestation to CommCom, Chapter 9 (clause 9.1) of the TCP Code also requires suppliers who are bound by the TCP Code to register with Communications Alliance.
Communications Alliance is the peak industry body representing the communications industry and is separate to the ACMA and CommCom.
You register with Communications Alliance by providing:
- the legal name and ABN/ACN, all relevant trading names and the website of your business
a nominated contact person and all relevant contact details
a statement that you’re providing the information in line with clause 9.1.1 of the TCP Code and you accept that Communications Alliance can provide this info to CommCom.
Registration is free and easy—just go to Communications Alliance’s website, fill out the form and send it in, done! And if anything changes, you need to let Communications Alliance know within a month of that change.
Registration with Communications Alliance is not related to becoming a member of Communications Alliance.
Why do I need to register with Communications Alliance?
Registration is a requirement under the TCP Code. So, if you’re providing telco services to consumers and small businesses under the code, you need to comply with all the obligations. Providing up-to-date contact details means that Communications Alliance and the ACMA can easily contact you about important issues—for example, seeking comment on code reviews or advising of key changes that may impact your obligations.
I am a new provider. Do I still need to register?
If you’ve only just started providing services, you’ll have a month from the date of getting your first customer to provide Communications Alliance with the relevant info.
What if I am already a member of Communications Alliance?
Even if you’re a member, you’re obliged under the TCP Code to provide Communications Alliance with these details. Membership of Communications Alliance is not related to registration under the TCP Code.
What happens if you don’t register?
If we see that you’re providing services to customers and you haven’t registered, we’ll give you a gentle reminder. If you fail to register with Communications Alliance after that, you could face more serious consequences, such as a formal warning or Direction to comply with the TCP Code.
Is there anything else I need to do?
Make sure you read Chapter 9 of the TCP Code to ensure you are aware of any other requirements under the Code Compliance Framework, such as the obligation to promote awareness of the TCP Code to your customers and staff.
If in doubt about the Communications Alliance registration process or your lodgement requirements with CommCom, please get in touch with either (or both) of these bodies.