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Telecommunications funding arrangements

The Telecommunications Industry Levy (TIL)

The TIL, administered under the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 (the TCPSS Act), replaced the previous Universal Service Obligation and the National Relay Service levies with a single levy, imposed under the Telecommunications (Industry Levy) Act 2012.

The TIL continues to fund the payment of contractors, grant recipients and eligible administrative costs to ensure continuity of key safeguards required under the telecommunications universal service obligations. The TIL provides for:

  • reasonably accessible standard telephone services and payphone services to all Australians on an equitable basis, regardless of where they live or carry on business;
  • a national telephone service to enable people with a hearing or speech impediment to make and receive telephone calls;
  • delivery of emergency call services; and
  • delivery of other public policy telecommunications outcomes

How is the TIL assessed?

All licensed carriers, who are considered a participating person (i.e. telecommunications carriers with eligible revenue in excess of $25 million or certain persons who do not submit an eligible statutory declaration (ESD)), are required to report their revenues by lodging eligible revenue returns (ERRs) to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) by 31 October of each year. Carrier license holders with eligible revenue of $25 million or less are considered non-participating persons. Non-participating persons are not required to lodge an ERR but are encouraged to submit an ESD.

The ACMA will make a written assessment of each participating person’s eligible revenue for each return period and advice each carrier of their contribution to the overall levy target amount (OLTA) for the period. The TIL assessments, based on the OLTA, is proportioned according to participating persons ERR assessments and invoiced accordingly. The assessments are published on the ACMA website. For further information on the TIL refer to the Eligible revenue reporting web page.

The TIL is based on the costs incurred by the Universal Service provider in the prior year. Contributions to the TIL are proportional to each participating person’s eligible revenue for the previous financial year. The calculation of this levy is set out in the Telecommunications (Consumer Protections and Service Standards) (Levy Formula Modification) Determination 2019, made under subsection 50(2) of the TCPSS Act.

When will each year’s TIL assessments be made?

Within four months after each period (by 31st October), the Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts must prepare a written statement setting out the OLTA for the period (the total costs of contracts, grants and administrative costs incurred during that period) and a breakdown of the amount in accordance with section 42 of the TCPSS Act.

Telecommunications funding arrangements

Eligible
Levy
Period

Date made

Link to document

Legislative Reference

2019-20 17 July 2020 Eligible Revenue Assessment 2018-19 Section 47(1) of the TCPSS Act
2018-19 21 June 2019 Eligible Revenue Assessment 2017-18  Section 47(1) of the TCPSS Act
25 October 2019 Telecommunications (Overall Levy Target Amount) Statement 2019 Section 42 of the TCPSS Act
8 November 2019 Telecommunications Industry Levy Assessment 2018-19 Section 51 of the TCPSS Act

Statement of disclosure

Subsection 50(2) of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 (TCPSS Act) allows the Minister to modify the formula used in subsection 50(1) of the TCPSS Act to determine the levy amount of a participating person for an eligible revenue period.

On 29 October 2019 a Ministerial Determination was made under subsection 50(2) of the TCPSS Act 1999 that provides for the collection of an additional $8,000,000 this financial year in excess of Overall Levy Target Amount of $253,863,000.

The additional funding will be recovered via the telecommunications industry levy in line with the existing levy and collection processes.

Contacts

Next up: Previous TIL documents
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