ACCC announces variation to the Facilities Access Code

23 Sep 2013

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided to vary the Facilities Access Code (FAC) in order ‘to ensure it continues to be a useful tool for industry members when negotiating access to the facilities of other carriers’. With the regulator having launched a review of the FAC in July last year, it confirmed that after considering submissions from industry players it had opted to make timeframes for accessing facilities a mandatory provision. ‘A carrier will be required to comply with the timeframes in the Code when they receive a request for access to their facilities,’ ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes noted, adding: ‘This will ensure all carriers are treated equally when they make a request.’

The FAC was introduced in 1999 to encourage carriers to co-locate their mobile transmission towers and other facilities where possible, and it contains conditions that must be included in access agreements for facilities and sets out procedures and processes that must be followed when requests for access are made by one carrier to another.