Draft standards for broadband infrastructure

The Morrison Government is inviting stakeholders to have their say on draft standards, rules and benchmarks for Statutory Infrastructure Provider (SIP) networks. The SIP regime provides a legal framework so that households and businesses across Australia can connect to superfast broadband services.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the standards, rules and benchmarks are about supporting access to high quality telecommunications services.

“Statutory Infrastructure Providers are required to connect premises and supply wholesale services over their fixed networks, supporting retailers to sell broadband services to consumers. These standards, rules and benchmarks will help define how services are supplied to Australian consumers,” Minister Fletcher said.

The Government is seeking stakeholder views on:

•         timeframes for wholesale connection, repairs, and appointment keeping;

•         standards for peak wholesale speeds (and network remediation plans);

•         transparency requirements for any rebates offered; and

•         associated record-keeping requirements.

“Stakeholder views will help the Government decide whether to proceed with the draft standards, rules and benchmarks, and, if so, the final form they should take,” Minister Fletcher said.

There are currently 18 SIPs, as well as NBN Co. Under legislation, SIP networks must offer peak speeds of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 5 Mbps upload. On fixed-line and fixed wireless networks, SIP wholesale services must also support delivery of retail voice services.

The SIP arrangements are part of a forward looking telecommunications consumer protection framework that directs regulation at underlying wholesale networks, while relying on stronger competition to shape consumer outcomes at the retail level. It is part of Australia’s Universal Service Guarantee for telecommunications.

Submissions close 10am (AEDT) Monday 1 March 2021. More information is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.