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Telco Carrier Tranche One amendments arrive

Tranche One

Back in March, we discussed the need for reform and planned changes to the Telecommunications Carriers powers and immunities framework to be delivered across two tranches. Refer to our article: Change Closer for Telecommunications Carriers Powers Immunities Framework

On schedule, Tranche One amendments have been released this month which introduced 2 legislative instruments:

  1. Telecommunications Code of Practice 2021 (made under s 15(1) of Schedule 3 Telecom Act 1997); and
  2. Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Amendment Determination 2021.

Both commenced on the 9 November 2021 and include:

  • Improved readability by consolidating many duplicative provisions across the Code.
  • Required carriers to:
    • provide engineering certificates for certain deployments of low-impact facilities;
    • record the depth of underground facilities at the time of installation;
    • issue notices of withdrawal for cancelled activities; and
    • refer objections to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) within 10 business days, if requested by a landowner.
  • Enabled carriers to:
    • independently refer matters to the TIO;
    • deploy larger antennae, larger dishes and lens antennae;
    • install successive tower extensions, while preserving the cumulative limit of 5 metres; and
    • co-locate more facilities in commercial areas.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications now intend to undertake detailed consultation with key stakeholders to progress proposed Tranche 2 reforms. As we commented in our article in March, it seems this second tranche of amendments is far more complex, with multiple stakeholders and proposals on the table. We will continue to keep you posted on further updates as they come to hand.


For more information:

Government Factsheet: How the powers and immunities framework affects you