The Government has released today a consultation paper proposing a carrier licensing exemption designed to make it easier for carriers to use private telecommunications infrastructure.

3 September 2014

The exemption is proposed to improve service provision and create new opportunities for better infrastructure utilisation, for example, to increase mobile coverage in regional areas. This reflects the Government’s interest in fostering more efficient use of telecommunications infrastructure.

The exemption would allow government agencies and private firms that own suitable network infrastructure to enter into agreements with carriers to use the infrastructure without the need for a carrier licence of their own. Any agreement between private network operators and carriers would be voluntary and on a commercial basis.

The exemption would progress the Government’s deregulation agenda by relaxing existing licensing requirements. It would also create opportunities for both private operators and carriers to leverage existing infrastructure but it would be up to market participants to take advantage of the opportunities.

The paper also seeks additional information on the nature and extent of private telecommunications networks in Australia, which will inform the Government’s future decision making.

The paper includes a draft Carrier Licence Exemption Instrument for comment.  For more information about the consultation, please visit the Consultation and Submissions page.

Submissions are sought by Tuesday, 7 October 2014.

Contact: Jon Dart, Office of Malcolm Turnbull MP, 0457 646 749, Jon.Dart [at] communications.gov.au