Who must join the TIO scheme?
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) is an industry-based dispute resolution scheme for small businesses and residential customers of carriers and eligible carriage service providers (CSPs).
Carriers and eligible CSPs must join the TIO scheme. You can find information about joining the scheme on the TIO website.
You must join the TIO scheme if you supply or arrange for the supply of:
- a standard telephone service to residential or small business customers
- a public mobile telecommunication service
- access to the internet
You may also be required to join if:
- you have received a written notice from the ACMA to join the TIO scheme
- you are a member of a specified class of CSPs that the ACMA has determined must join the TIO scheme
These rules are in the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999.
You are not required to join the TIO scheme if you are not a carrier or CSP. If you are unsure whether you are required to join the TIO scheme, you should seek independent legal advice.
Carriers and eligible CSPs can request an exemption from the requirement to join the TIO scheme. Exemption requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and must be made through our form.
When considering a request, we may consider:
- the extent to which you deal with residential customers in the supply of carriage services
- the extent to which you deal with proprietors of small businesses in the supply of carriage services
- the potential for complaints under the TIO scheme about services you provide
This list does not limit the matters to which the ACMA may consider. For example, the ACMA may consider if there is the potential for land access disputes under Schedule 3 of the Telecommunication Act 1997. We may also consider information contained within a carrier licence application when assessing a request for exemption from a carrier. We will also consult with the TIO before deciding.
Any exemption declared by the ACMA may be revoked at any time if circumstances warrant it.
If you are unsure if you have a valid exemption request, you should seek independent legal advice. For other queries, you can email email@example.com.
What should be considered before requesting an exemption?
A request that does not include the required information is incomplete and will not be processed by the ACMA.
In your request for exemption you must include:
- how you deal with residential customers or small businesses when supplying carriage services
- the number of residential and small business customers a part of your total customer base
- a brief description of the carriage services you supply
- examples of potential complaints under the TIO scheme about services you supply, including any wholesale carriage services
- detailed information on how you handle potential complaints about carriage services you supply
If you are a carrier, you must also:
- provide detailed information on your complaints handling processes for complaints and potential complaints resulting from land or building access activities you conduct as a carrier, under either schedule 3 of the Telco Act, or an agreement with the owner or occupier of the land or building
Declarations for exemption from the TIO scheme
|14 August 2023|
|23 May 2023|
|27 January 2023|
|27 January 2023|
|LAB3 Solutions||28 July 2020|
|Singtel||16 April 2020|
|Oziplex Pty Ltd||26 August 2019|
|Concerotel Pty Ltd||28 June 2019|
|Chubb Insurance Australia Ltd||22 August 2017|
|Grey Cloud Networks Pty Ltd||30 March 2017|
|Sunshine Coast Regional Council||5 July 2016|
|Solomons Oceanic Cable Company Limited||22 December 2014|
|Iridium Australia Licensee Pty Ltd||26 September 2014|
|Reach Networks Australia Pty Ltd||4 August 2014|
|Newhome Technologies Pty Ltd||15 July 2014|
|Eutelsat Asia Pte Ltd||17 March 2014|
|O3b Teleport Services (Australia) Pty Ltd||8 November 2013|
|Silcar Pty Ltd||3 July 2013|
|East West Line Parks Ltd||2 July 2013|
|Caprock Communications (Australia) Pty Ltd||20 November 2012|
|XO International Inc||13 September 2011|
|Victoria Rail Track (trading as VicTrack)||11 November 2008|
|SCCL Australia Limited||11 November 2008|
|CSC Australia Pty Ltd||11 November 2008|
|Intelsat Asia Carrier Services Inc||11 November 2008|
|Telenor Mobile Aviation AS||2 April 2007|
|Inmarsat Global Limited||2 April 2007|
|Ergon Energy Telecommunications Pty Ltd.||19 May 2004|
|Southern Cross Telecommunications Pty Ltd||17 July 2001|
If you do not follow the rules
If we have reason to believe that you should have joined the TIO scheme and failed to do so, we may commence an investigation.
If this is the case, we may take enforcement action against you. This could result in a formal warning, direction to comply, an infringement notice, or court proceedings.
We publish our enforcement outcomes on our website.