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 wholesale-only. The operator must offer a layer 2 bitstream service on an open-access and non-discriminatory basis.

Under the Telecommunications Act, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has the power to make a layer 2-bitstream standard, but it hasn't seen a need to do this.

Under the Competition and Consumer Act, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has declared a layer 2-bitstream service. This service, called the local bitstream access service, is the service carriers must supply if parts 7 and 8 apply to them.

The ACCC declared this service in February 2012. It then made a final access determination for the local bitstream access declaration. The ACCC set the price ceiling for the local bitstream access service by benchmarking it against NBN Co's price for a 25/5 megabit per second service. This results in a price ceiling of $27 per month:

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

Email us: InfrastructureAndAccess [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:

Make sure your information is as correct as possible. Providing false or misleading information in connection with your application could be an offence under Part 7.4 of the Criminal Code.

This information is not legal advice. If you are going to ask for an exemption, read the relevant legislation and other material. You should also ask for your own independent legal advice first.

Ministerial exemptions from Parts 7 and 8 of the Telecommunications Act 1997

There are currently five ministerial exemptions:

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Consolidation as at 11 January 2016)

Published 12th Jan 2016

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012 (Consolidation as at 11 January 2016)

Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012

Explanatory note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012

Published 4th Jun 2015

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Explanatory note—Telecommunications (Network Exemption—Telstra South Brisbane Network) Instrument 2012

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)

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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)