27 May 2019
Telstra has been hit with a formal warning by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for failing to comply with rules for deploying mobile phone base stations.
The rules, outlined in the Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry Code, are designed to make sure telcos provide local councils and communities with an opportunity to have their say before setting up mobile phone infrastructure.
‘There is public concern about the roll-out of mobile infrastructure, including small cell base stations, in residential areas,’ said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.
‘Telcos must keep affected communities in the loop and consider their feedback when establishing or upgrading mobile phone base stations,’ said Ms O’Loughlin.
Following a complaint from a resident, an ACMA investigation revealed Telstra contravened the deployment code rules by:
- not fully complying with its consultation plan, which required Telstra to contact residents in the immediate vicinity of the base station
- not sending a letter containing the information to all interested and affected parties; and
- not acknowledging a written complaint within 10 business days of its receipt.
Telstra has taken steps to avoid such problems occurring in future, including reviewing its contractor complaints handling procedures and implementing regular training.
This is the second action taken by the ACMA in the last six months to ensure mobile carriers comply with mobile phone base station deployment rules. The ACMA’s formal warning puts Telstra on notice to minimise the risk of future breaches and ensure compliance.