Tuesday, 09 November 2021 12:51

Telco breaches new network infrastructure rules by failing to publish terms and conditions

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The ACMA advise that CommSol, a Canberra-based wholesale telco, has become the first company found in breach of new infrastructure rules aimed at ensuring all Australians have access to broadband services with peak download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second.

Under the new rules, specified telecommunications carriers that are obliged to provide wholesale broadband services in the areas that they service are called Statutory Infrastructure Providers (SIPs), the ACMA advise.

Under the SIP regime, which came into effect in July 2020, SIPs must clearly communicate to retail telco service providers their connection and fault repair timeframes and the cost of services on their network. The rules specifically require that SIPs publish their terms and conditions for providing wholesale services to retail telco service providers on their website, the ACMA said.

An ACMA investigation found CommSol failed to publish terms and conditions on its website as required.

In February and April 2021 the ACMA sent alerts to CommSol about its non-compliance. However, a subsequent audit of CommSol’s website in July 2021 revealed the issue had not been rectified and an investigation was opened.

CommSol addressed its non-compliance by publishing the required material on its website in September 2021, the ACMA advised.

The ACMA said it issued a formal warning to CommSol for breaching its carrier licence conditions under the Telecommunications Act 1997. In reaching this decision, the ACMA noted the time taken by CommSol to address the non-compliance.

NBN Co is the default SIP across Australia. Other network providers can also be SIPs, such as where they have contracts to service premises in new real estate developments, shopping centres or apartments. The ACMA maintains a register of SIPs which allows consumers to identify the SIP in their area, the ACMA says.

The ACMA is responsible for enforcing obligations on SIPs under Part 19 of the Telecommunications Act.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 3 November 2021.

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Chris Coughlan

A versatile technology executive with extensive experience in most disciplines and technologies in the Information and Communications Technologies sector. Roles have encompassed general management, product management, business development, sales management, industry marketing, operations management, research and development, business case development, market research and forecasting, regulatory, strategy management, solution development, major project construction, process design and management, technology and management consulting, and engineering.

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