The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) can investigate consumer complaints about carrier non-compliance with the various regulations, codes and standards.
The ACMA can:
warn or direct a carrier to comply with its obligations
penalise carriers who fail to comply.
Relevant legislation governing carriers and the ACMA includes:
The ACMA monitors all significant matters relating to the performance of carriers and carriage service providers, including installations of new telecommunications facilities, and reports each financial year to the Minister.
You can access the latest telecommunications performance report.
Reports on underground and aerial cables
The ACMA also has a responsibility to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy the progress in placing telecommunications cabling underground.
The ACMA reviews its annual reporting process in response to community and council concerns, and shifts in industry cabling activity.
The ACMA Clause 50 report
The ACMA has a responsibility to report to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy on progress in placing telecommunications facilities underground. This requirement is set out in clause 50 of Schedule 3 to the Telecommunications Act 1997.
The clause 50 reporting framework was originally developed in the wake of extensive industry activity as Telstra and Optus rolled out substantial HFC cable networks for delivery of pay television and broadband services. Optus and Telstra’s aerial cabling activity caused significant opposition among communities and councils who were concerned about the lack of consultation and the impact of the cables on their visual environment. Since the Telecommunications Act 1997 came into effect, aerial cables have been precluded from installation under Commonwealth authorisation and the ACMA is required to monitor and report on industry cabling activity.
Given the recent apparent shift in industry aerial cabling activity, it was timely to review the clause 50 reporting framework to ensure the reports meet the future policy needs of the portfolio.
As a key outcome of this review, the ACMA has determined that simplified requests for cabling data and a standardised format for data provision will enhance the quality and consistency of cabling information provided by industry. This in turn will facilitate the data analysis and the usefulness of the report to the minister.
The ACMA has also decided that 18-month reporting periods will be changed to annual reporting periods.