The requirements established by Parts 7 and 8 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 apply to:

  • a fixed-line local access network or
  • part of a fixed-line local access network that's built, upgraded, altered or extended to residential or small business users after 1 January 2011, with a usual download speed of more than 25 megabits per second (known as 'superfast' services).

Wholesale Layer 2 bitstream services

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regulates the provision of Layer 2 bitstream services to ensure that these services are offered on an open and equivalent access basis.

Prior to 26 May 2020, wholesale Layer 2 bitstream services were regulated by Part 7 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer) Act 2020 (TLA Act) repealed Part 7 and associated provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).

Importantly, even though Part 7 has been repealed, relevant ACCC declarations and access determinations (set out below) remain in force.

The ACCC has declared a layer 2-bitstream service. This service is called the local bitstream access service (LBAS). The ACCC declared the LBAS in February 2012, and subsequently made a final access determination for the LBAS declaration. For more details on these decisions, see the links below.

On 29 July 2016, the ACCC also declared the Superfast Broadband Access Service (SBAS), which is a superfast layer 2 bitstream service, or in the case of Telstra, a Fibre Access Broadband Service. The SBAS applies to a number of specific types of network controllers, including those that were exempted from Part 7, meaning the LBAS did not apply to them. More information on the ACCC SBAS declaration and associated Access Determination can be found at the links below:

The TLA Act provides for existing exemption instruments that had been granted under Part 7 of the Act to continue to have effect, and preserves the power for the instruments to be varied by the Minister. This ensures that relevant networks continue to be regulated by either the LBAS or SBAS as previously envisaged. However, the Minister cannot make a new exemption instrument from 26 May 2020.

The wholesale-only requirement (Part 8)

As a general rule, Part 8 requires fixed-line superfast capable lines servicing residential customers to be wholesale only. However, from 26 August 2020:

  • networks servicing predominantly small business areases will no longer be subject to the separation rules
  • lines and networks that would otherwise be subject to structural separation requirements will be able to operate on a functionally separated basis subject to the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC); and
  • the ACCC will be able to make class exemptions for small providers (up to 2,000 services, which could be raised by regulation to 12,000).

Ministerial exemptions from structural separation requirements in the Telecommunications Act 1997

There are currently five ministerial exemptions from the structural separation requirements in the Telecommunications Act 1997 in force:

  • SmartFarmNet
  • Telstra South Brisbane Network
  • Telstra Specified Velocity Networks
  • TPG TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks, and
  • TPG TransACT Very Small Scale Networks

Telstra South Brisbane Network

Telstra Specified Velocity Networks

TPG TransACT Upgraded VDSL Network

TPG TransACT Very Small Scale Networks

Telecommunications (Local Access Lines Exemption–SmartFarmNet) Instrument 2020

Published 18th Mar 2020

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Telecommunications (Local Access Lines Exemption–SmartFarmNet) Instrument 2020

Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Local Access Lines Exemption–SmartFarmNet) Instrument 2020

Published 18th Mar 2020

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Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Local Access Lines Exemption–SmartFarmNet) Instrument 2020

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Consolidation as at 31 May 2018)

Published 19th Jun 2018

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Consolidation as at 31 May 2018)

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2018)

Published 19th Jun 2018

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2018)

Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2018)

Published 19th Jun 2018

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Explanatory note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2018)

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2013)

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2013)

Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2013)

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Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2013)

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2015)

Published 12th Jan 2016

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2015)

Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2015)

Published 12th Jan 2016

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Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2015)

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra Specified Velocity Networks) Instrument 2012

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra Specified Velocity Networks) Instrument 2012

Annexure A to Schedule 1—New South Wales

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Annexure A to Schedule 1—New South Wales

Annexure A to Schedule 1—Victoria

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Annexure A to Schedule 1—Victoria

Annexure A to Schedule 1—Queensland

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Annexure A to Schedule 1—Queensland

Annexure A to Schedule 1—South Australia

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Annexure A to Schedule 1—South Australia

Annexure A to Schedule 1—Western Australia

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Annexure A to Schedule 1—Western Australia

Annexure A to Schedule 1—Northern Territory

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Annexure A to Schedule 1—Northern Territory

Explanatory note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra Specified Velocity Networks) Instrument 2012

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Explanatory note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra Specified Velocity Networks) Instrument 2012

Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Consolidation as at 9 November 2012)

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Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Consolidation as at 9 November 2012)

Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012

Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Specified TransACT Networks) Instrument 2012

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Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Specified TransACT Networks) Instrument 2012

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

Explanatory Note—Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

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Explanatory Note—Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.2 of 2012)

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.2 of 2012)

Explanatory Note—Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.2 of 2012)

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Explanatory Note—Specified TransACT Networks Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.2 of 2012)

TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks Instrument

Published 4th Jun 2015

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TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks Instrument

Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks) Instrument 2012

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Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks) Instrument 2012

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks Instrument (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks Instrument (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks) Instrument (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Explanatory Note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks) Instrument (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012 (Consolidation as at 9 November 2012)

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012 (Consolidation as at 9 November 2012)

Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

Annexure A to Schedule 1 of Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Annexure A to Schedule 1 of Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

Explanatory Note to Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Explanatory Note to Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

Explanatory Note to Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.1 of 2012)

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Explanatory Note to Telecommunications (Network Exemption TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012 (Amendment No.1 of 2012)