Consultation begins on changes to key legislation that underpins high speed broadband access across Australia

Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, will today call for public comment on draft legislation to refine the laws providing access to high-speed broadband for people across Australia.

The draft legislation would make a number of changes to the statutory infrastructure provider (SIP) laws in the Telecommunications Act 1997. Key changes include:

  • bringing private networks in new developments into the SIP regime;
  • making sure SIPs are ready to service buildings as soon as they are occupied;
  • confirming that SIPs can be required to pay compensation;
  • clarifying the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman can handle SIP complaints;
  • providing stricter rules for the exit of SIPs from a service area; and
  • empowering the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to require developers to remediate deficient pit and pipe work.

The legislation also includes minor changes to streamline the operation of the SIP laws, as well as amend the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 to give the ACMA powers to publish data on individual providers’ performance on a range of consumer service metrics.

Submissions close on 30 September 2022 and the Government expects to introduce the Bill into the Parliament by the end of 2022.

The draft legislation can be found on the Have Your Say page of the website of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“Reliable, quality, high speed internet is not a luxury or a nice-to-have. It is essential 21st century infrastructure.

High speed broadband helps to keep people connected, facilitate business, and provide access to important services such as telehealth.

This consultation provides an opportunity for people to have their say on changes to these important laws, which safeguard people’s access high speed broadband across the country. I would encourage those interested to make a submission by 30 September 2022.”

31 AUGUST 2022