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Apply to protect a submarine cable

We have powers to declare a protection zone for certain submarine cables in Australian waters. This zone limits activities in the area to ensure the cable is secure and reliable.

You can apply to us to protect and secure your submarine cable.

We will consider your request against the range of matters set out in Schedule 3A to the Telecommunications Act 1997.

One of the key requirements for the declaration of a protection zone under Schedule 3A is that the ACMA is satisfied a relevant cable is or will be ‘of national significance’.

Before declaring a protection zone, we must:

  • develop a proposal
  • undertake a public consultation process.

Ask for a protection zone

Follow these steps to ask us to declare a protection zone for your submarine cables.


Check the guide

Read the Guide to declaring a submarine cable protection zone.

This summarises what we consider when deciding whether to declare a protection zone.


Get in touch

Contact us to discuss your application, and the information you need to send to us.

The Manager

Technical Regulation and Carrier Infrastructure Section

PO Box 13112 Law Courts

Melbourne VIC 8010

Tel: 03 9963 6800




There is a deposit payable when making a request that the ACMA declare a protection zone.

The Telecommunications (Charges) Determination 2022 sets the deposit amount at $161,251.

The deposit is for expenses incurred by the ACMA to consider a protection zone declaration request. This includes:

  • staff costs
  • external costs such as advertising, venue hire and catering, travel and consultation.

The total charges may be more or less than the deposit amount.

Before sending your request, please contact for a deposit invoice.

For this, we need the following information:

  • your ABN/ACN
  • postal address
  • registered business address (if different)
  • details of application contact person (full name, position, phone and email).

Supply information

We need to see that you have installed an international submarine cable or are about to do so. You need to give us:

  • details of the licensed telecommunications carrier who will install the cable
  • copies of relevant contracts and regulatory approvals
  • installation start and finish dates
  • detailed route information.  

If your plans are not that advanced, you can provide:

  • details of the licensed telecommunications carrier who is proposing to build the cable
  • technical details for the cable construction
  • information on the proposed funding model and ownership structure
  • proposed route information
  • your progress in obtaining regulatory approvals for landing points in the cable system
  • environmental regulatory approvals and any issues that may arise
  • an assessment of likely demand and commitments for capacity from prospective customers
  • contracts with landing party carriers and backhaul arrangements
  • a project timetable with information about:
    • the marine route survey
    • cable manufacture
    • cable installation
    • a date you will be ready for service.

Proposal and consultation

We will consider your request. However, we are not obliged to develop a protection zone proposal.

If we decide not to develop a proposal, we will notify you in writing of our decision and reasons for it.

If we decide to develop a proposal, we will give you a copy of the proposal. We will then consult with those who use the sea and seabed. This includes consultation with the Environment Secretary and a public consultation process.

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