New legislation will allow emergency service organisations and others to gain access to NBN infrastructure and also allows temporary telecommunications towers to be specified as low-impact facilities.

The Government introduced the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (TLAB) into the Parliament on 26 June 2018. The TLAB comprises the following measures:

  • a new tower and site access regime to allow eligible persons such as emergency service organisations to gain access to towers and related sites owned or operated by NBN Co. This will help these organisations to operate more effectively.
  • changes to the carrier powers and immunities regime to enable temporary telecommunications towers to be specified as low-impact facilities in certain circumstances, along with several minor technical changes to the regime. This would allow carriers to more efficiently provide better services for consumers during events (e.g. major sports events or festivals), peak holiday periods, emergency or routine maintenance, and when replacing a facility.

The Bill will be available on the Federal Legislation Register shortly.

The Government consulted widely on the new legislation and released a discussion paper for the carrier powers and immunities regime in June 2017. Subject to passage, the Bill will come into affect the day after it achieves royal ascent.