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Property access rules for telcos

As a licensed telco, the Telecommunications Act 1997 lets you access property to inspect land, install low-impact facilities or maintain facilities. 

The rules you must follow

You can install a low-impact facility without the need to obtain approvals from the local, state or territory governments.

Legislation, regulations and codes of practice set out the rules.

Power to install a facility

Schedule three of the Telecommunications Act 1997 gives a telco the power to enter onto land and immunity from state or territory government laws.

Low-impact facilities

Check the Telecommunications (Low-impact facilities) Determination 2018 for facilities telcos can install without state or territory approval. 

Design, install and operate facilities

The code of practice places conditions on you when you install and operate facilities. For example, you must notify land owners and occupiers, and investigate any complaints they have. The code of practice is the Telecommunications Code of Practice 2021.

Access transmitter towers and underground facilities

You must also allow other telco's access to your towers and facilities. The rules are in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Facilities Access Code.

Industry codes and guidelines

Industry codes and guidelines include:

How to communicate with property owners

You must notify all property owners and occupiers in the set time periods.

For facilities installed in areas of environmental significance, you must follow the Commonwealth, state or territory laws, such as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

To notify property owners or occupiers, you must first write to them.

You and the property owners or occupiers may agree that you notify them in a different way, such as:

  • email
  • telephone
  • in person

The rules you must follow about notification and consultation with property owners are in the Telecommunications Code of Practice 2021.

How to consult with local council and nearby residents

You also need to consult with the local council and residents nearby if you are installing a mobile phone base station in their area.

The rules on how you must consult are in the Mobile Phone Base Station Industry Code.

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