4 December 2015
The Government has introduced legislative amendments this week to enhance the operation of Australia’s telecommunications regulatory framework and encourage innovation through pilots and trials on the National Broadband Network (nbn).
The amendments, set out in the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Access Regime and NBN Companies) Bill 2015, implements in part, the Government’s Telecommunications Regulatory and Structural Reform statement, released in response to the Vertigan review in December 2014.
In addition to enabling pilots and trials to be conducted over the nbn, the bill includes amendments to:
· fine-tune the operation of the telecommunications access regime to promote consistency, consultation and flexibility in decision-making;
· clarify the arrangements by which carriers access one another’s facilities;
· ensure access seekers can use in-building cabling controlled by an access provider; and
· provide greater flexibility for nbn’s line of business rules to permit it to dispose of surplus assets.
The Bill also continues nbn’s ability to operate a specified number of points of interconnection and sell a bundle of key services, assisting nbn to roll out its network delivering broadband to all Australians.
The introduction of this legislation represents a further phase of reform, in line with the Government’s statement released last December. Further legislation proposed for introduction next year will address the more significant issues set out in the policy roadmap.
The 2014 telecommunications policy roadmap is available at: www.communications.gov.au/publications/telecommunications-regulatory-and-structural-reform
The Bill and related material will be available at www.aph.gov.au/bills