About the RBS
The RBS was established to ensure there are long-term sustainable funding arrangements in place to provide essential broadband services to regional, rural and remote Australians.
Under the RBS, a carrier or declared nominated carrier (nominated carrier) is required to pay $7.45331 per month for each chargeable premises connected to their telecommunication network that has an active fixed line that provides a designated broadband service. Carriers with less than 2,000 premises in any month of the current reporting period are exempt from paying the charge for that month.
Since the commencement of the RBS on 1 January 2021, carriers and nominated carriers that own, or are responsible for, local access lines that are capable of providing NBN comparable designated broadband services are required to track the number of premises that are connected to each local access line. This applies to all premises that are connected to the local access line and are able to access designated broadband services, whether through the carrier or another carriage service provider.
Carriers who own or who are responsible for these local access lines must report on the number of premises that are serviced by their access lines for each month during the 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 reporting period, by 31 October 2022, subject to some exceptions noted below.
Who will be required to report on premises?
Carriers and nominated carriers must report on the number of chargeable premises that are associated with their local access lines for each month of the reporting period, if the following applies:
- a carrier licence was held at any time during the reporting period
- the carrier was the owner of, or was the nominated carrier, in relation to a local access line that provided designated broadband services to premises and the line is not an exempt line within the meaning of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 (TCPSS Act)
- the premises are not 'exempt premises' within the meaning of the TCPSS Act. If a carrier, alone or as a member of its associated group of carriers, has less than 2,000 potentially chargeable premises for a month within the relevant period, then the premises are exempt and the carrier is not required to report for that month.
Calculating the RBS charge
Under the Telecommunications (Regional Broadband Scheme) Charge Act 2020 (the RBS Charge Act) there are 2 parts to the charge:
- the base component
- the administrative component.
The base component will be subject to indexation in each financial year.
For the current reporting period (2020–21), the following charges apply:
The base component of the second-year amount is $7.45159 per month per premises. This amount has been calculated using the formula set out in section 12(3) of the RBS Charge Act, where the ‘previous base component’ amount of $7.09 has been multiplied by the indexation factor of 1.051.
As set out in section 16(2) of the RBS Act, the administrative component is $0.00172 per month per premises. The administrative components that will apply per month for the third, fourth and fifth eligible financial years are set out in section 16 of the RBS Charge Act. From the sixth eligible financial year onward, the administrative component will be subject to indexation.
A carriers’ annual charge is calculated out by multiplying its chargeable premises per month by the base component amount and the administrative component amount. These monthly base amounts and monthly administrative amounts are added up to determine the annual base amount and annual administrative amount. The carrier’s annual charge is the sum of the annual base amount and annual administrative amount.
The current reporting period is from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.
Eligible carriers are required to submit a report to us by 31 October 2022.
Details about what is required in the report are set out in section 100 of the TCPSS Act. Carriers are encouraged to obtain their own legal and technical advice as necessary to understand their reporting obligations under the RBS and TCPSS Acts.
Between 1 November and 31 December 2022, we will assess reports to calculate the number of chargeable premises and the annual chargeable premises amounts to be charged to carriers.
Legislation and other links
Telecommunications (Regional Broadband Scheme) Charge Act 2020
Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999
Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) (Assessment Deadline and Standard Due Date) Determination 2021
ACCC Regional Broadband Scheme reporting
Explanatory Memorandum relating to the introduction of the RBS legislation
Read more about the scheme and how it works.
For further information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominated carrier by declaration
A nominated carrier declaration is made under Division 4 of Part 3 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 by the ACMA. It declares the carrier to be the nominated carrier in relation to a specific network unit owned by a non-carrier.
Local access line
Local access line is defined in section 76A of the TCPSS Act. It means a line that is “part of the infrastructure of a local access network”. A line does not form part of a local access line to the extent that the line is on the customer side of the boundary of the telecommunication network, unless the line is being used to supply a carriage service to a unit in a multi-unit building.
|Designated broadband services||
Under section 76AA of the TCPSS Act, a designated broadband service is a carriage service that is supplied using a local access line, where:
(a) the carriage service enables end-users to download communications; and
(b) the local access line is part of the infrastructure of a telecommunications network in Australia; and
(c) the local access line is technically capable of being used to supply a superfast carriage service (i.e. download transmission speed is normally 25Mbps or greater).
Under the TCPSS Act designated broadband services do not include:
(d) a carriage service that can only be used by an end-user to make and receive voice calls; or
(e) a carriage service that can only be used by an end-user to view one or more broadcast television streams; or
(f) a carriage service that belongs to a class of carriage services determined by the Minister through a legislative instrument.
A residential or business location where a carriage service is connected and a designated broadband service is supplied.
Definitions of different types of premises (potentially chargeable premises, chargeable premises, exempt premises and potentially concessional premises) are set out in Division 4 of Part 3 of the TCPSS Act.