Telecommunications Act Parts 7 and 8 requirements and exemptions
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.
These networks must be not be used sell services directly to consumers – they must be wholesale only. The operator must offer a layer 2 bitstream service on an open-access (which means that it must not unreasonably refuse access) and non-discriminatory basis (which means it must offer substantially the same terms to all businesses, including any subsidiaries that it has). A layer 2 bitstream service is an Ethernet service supplied for transporting data from one point to another. This enables retail service providers to supply broadband services to end-users without needing to build a direct physical connection to them.
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.
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.
Statutory exemptions to the Parts 7 and 8 requirements
Exemptions to the requirements set out in Parts 7 and 8 of the Telecommunications Act cover:
extensions to existing superfast networks in current real estate development projects
extensions to existing network footprints no more than one kilometre from a point on the infrastructure of the existing network as it was on 1 January 2011
connections to premises that are close to existing network footprints.
Requests for exemptions
The Minister can exempt networks, lines and network owners from the Parts 7 and 8 requirements. The exemptions can be conditional or unconditional. They give the Minister flexibility to deal with unforeseen or other circumstances.
The decision to grant an exemption is a matter for the Minister's discretion. Each request will be considered on its merits.
Write to the Minister to ask for an exemption, and send us a copy of your request. Make sure you include everything you think is relevant to your request.
The Minister for Communications Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Email the Minister: minister [at] communications.gov.au
Clearly identify any information that you want the Australian Government to treat as confidential. Your request will be sent to the ACCC and the ACMA before the Minister makes a decision, but this department, the Minister, the ACCC and the ACMA must handle your confidential information according to the law.
What can support a request for an exemption?
Any relevant matter can be considered, so it's not possible to list everything
Some examples are listed in the Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum to the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures—Access Arrangements) Bill 2011: