DCA consulting on changes to the Carrier Licence Conditions

8 Feb 2019

Australia’s Department of Communications and the Arts (DCA) has called for feedback on plans to revamp the ‘Carrier Licence Conditions (Telstra Corporation Limited) Declaration 1997’, which allow the authorities to declare that a particular carrier is subject to specified licence conditions. With the regulations ‘due to sunset’ on 1 April 2019, the DCA noted that they currently include obligations on fixed line incumbent Telstra which relate to, among other things: the establishment and maintenance of the Integrated Public Number Database; the disclosure of specified premises location information to NBN Co; and the provision of directory and operator services.

The DCA has proposed that the regulations be remade ‘in broadly the same form as they exist currently’, albeit redrafted to ‘remove redundant provisions, provide clarity, and update terminology and the drafting style to reflect current conventions’. However, specific provisions that are to be removed include: the local presence obligation, which has been made redundant by the ‘Telstra Universal Obligation Performance Agreement’, which requires Telstra to maintain its copper network in areas outside the National Broadband Network (NBN) fixed line footprint until 2032; and the provision of mobile coverage in selected population centres and highways, which applied for the first ten years after the services were activated and are now redundant.

A deadline of 22 February 2019 has been set for interested parties to submit comments on the matter.