The Government has today released a consultation paper on proposed amendments to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities.
The proposed amendments would help nbn™ complete the national broadband network faster and at lower cost to taxpayers using the most appropriate technology for the job.
Telecommunications carriers have some powers and immunities to install and maintain certain low-impact facilities, such as using power poles to deploy overhead networks. These changes enable them to operate under a single streamlined national regime.
The proposed changes would extend these rights to nbn’s multi‑technology rollout strategy, speeding up the rollout of the network and reducing the cost.
Existing protections under the Telecommunications Act such as obligations to notify land owners and occupiers about planned work, minimise damage, and restore sites after work is complete would continue to apply.
The Government appreciates that people can sometimes be concerned about carriers’ use of powers and immunities and overhead cabling, and this is why it is seeking feedback on the proposed changes.
Interested parties, including local governments, community groups and industry, are encouraged to comment.
The consultation paper and draft amendments are available at www.communications.gov.au/carrier_powers_and_immunities_amendments
Submissions should be lodged by Friday, 10 July 2015.
Telecommunications carrier power and immunities are set out in Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. The proposed changes will be made to the Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Determination 1997 and the Telecommunications Regulations 2001 made under Schedule 3. The changes will apply to the rollout of the national broadband network and other comparable networks.