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About carriers and carriage service providers

Under the Telecommunications Act 1997, 2 main types of organisations are involved in the provision of services to the public.


Telecommunications carriers own network units that deliver carriage services. Their facilities may include:

  • transmission infrastructure
  • cabling
  • wireless networks
  • satellite facilities.

The owner(s) of a network unit(s) must not allow use of their network units to provide services to the public unless they hold a carrier licence, or a nominated carrier declaration is in force over the network units or an exemption applies

Any corporation, partnership of corporations or public body may apply for a carrier licence. Licence holders must comply with the Telecommunications Act 1997 and any related standards and codes. 

There is no limit on the number of carrier licences we can issue.

All licences are in the register of licences and nominated carrier declarations.

The Minister can impose further licence conditions on all or individual carriers and classes of carriers. These are 'licence condition declarations'.

Apply to us for a carrier licence.

Carriage service providers

A carriage service provider (CSP) does not have its own network units. It provides telecommunication services over:

  • network units that a licensed carrier owns
  • network units covered by a nominated carrier declaration

CSPs do not need a licence from us. All CSPs must still follow the rules, including the:

As the regulator, we can also impose additional rules.

CSPs include organisations that:

  • resell time on a carrier network for phone calls
  • provide access to the internet (internet service providers)
  • provide phone services over the internet (VoIP service providers).
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