Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to telecommunications, and for related purposes
Administered by: Communications and the Arts
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 02 Dec 2015
Introduced HR 02 Dec 2015
Table of contents.

2013‑2014‑2015

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Access Regime and NBN Companies) Bill 2015

 

No.      , 2015

 

(Communications)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to telecommunications, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                3

Part 1—Facilities access                                                                                               3

Telecommunications Act 1997                                                                                  3

Part 2—Access to customer cabling                                                                      6

Competition and Consumer Act 2010                                                                     6

National Transmission Network Sale Act 1998                                                     7

Part 3—Pilots and trials                                                                                               8

Competition and Consumer Act 2010                                                                     8

Part 4—Access determinations                                                                              11

Competition and Consumer Act 2010                                                                   11

Part 5—Special access undertakings                                                                   14

Competition and Consumer Act 2010                                                                   14

Part 6—Fixed principles                                                                                            16

Competition and Consumer Act 2010                                                                   16

Part 7—NBN corporations                                                                                       17

Division 1—Line of business restrictions                                                               17

National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011                                          17

Division 2—Supply of goods and services                                                            17

National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011                                          17

Division 3—Authorised conduct                                                                             18

Competition and Consumer Act 2010                                                                   18

Part 8—Declared services and eligible services                                             21

Division 1—Definition of declared service                                                            21

Competition and Consumer Act 2010                                                                   21

Division 2—Definition of eligible service                                                               22

Competition and Consumer Act 2010                                                                   22

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to telecommunications, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Access Regime and NBN Companies) Act 2015.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this Act

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Amendments

Part 1Facilities access

Telecommunications Act 1997

1  At the end of Part 3 of Schedule 1

Add:

19A  Interaction with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010

             (1)  A carrier must not, under this Part, request another carrier to give access to facilities, if the service of giving access to the facilities is a declared service.

             (2)  An obligation under this Part to give access to facilities ceases if the service of giving access to the facilities becomes a declared service.

Note:          Part XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 requires carriers and carriage service providers to provide declared services to service providers in certain circumstances, on the terms and conditions the ACCC determines.

             (3)  This clause:

                     (a)  does not affect the continuity or terms and conditions of any of the following in force just before a service becomes a declared service:

                              (i)  an agreement entered into in compliance with this Schedule;

                             (ii)  a determination made under clause 18; and

                     (b)  does not apply in relation to a carrier supplying a service to another carrier, if the agreement or determination relates to that supply.

             (4)  In this clause:

declared service means a service that is a declared service under subsection 152AL(3) or (8A) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

2  At the end of Part 5 of Schedule 1

Add:

39A  Interaction with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010

             (1)  A carrier must not, under this Part, request another carrier to give access to a tower or eligible underground facility if the service of giving access to the tower or eligible underground facility is a declared service.

             (2)  An obligation under this Part to give access to a tower or eligible underground facility ceases if the service of giving access to the tower or eligible underground facility becomes a declared service.

Note:          Part XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 requires carriers and carriage service providers to provide declared services to service providers in certain circumstances, on the terms and conditions the ACCC determines.

             (3)  This clause:

                     (a)  does not affect the continuity or terms and conditions of any of the following in force just before a service becomes a declared service:

                              (i)  an agreement entered into in compliance with this Schedule;

                             (ii)  a determination made under clause 36; and

                     (b)  does not apply in relation to a carrier supplying a service to another carrier, if the agreement or determination relates to that supply.

             (4)  In this clause:

declared service means a service that is a declared service under subsection 152AL(3) or (8A) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

3  Application and transitional provisions

(1)       An obligation under Part 3 or 5 of Schedule 1 to the Telecommunications Act 1997 ceases on the commencement of this item, if:

                     (a)  the obligation is an obligation to give access to a facility, tower or eligible underground facility; and

                     (b)  the obligation is in force just before that commencement; and

                     (c)  at that commencement, the service of giving access to the facility, tower or eligible underground facility is a declared service.

(2)       Subitem (1):

                     (a)  does not affect the continuity or terms and conditions of any of the following in force just before a service becomes a declared service:

                              (i)  an agreement entered into in compliance with Schedule 1 to the Telecommunications Act 1997;

                             (ii)  a determination made under clause 18 or 36 of that Schedule; and

                     (b)  does not apply in relation to a carrier supplying a service to another carrier, if the agreement or determination relates to that supply.

(3)       In this item:

declared service means a service that is a declared service under subsection 152AL(3) or (8A) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Part 2Access to customer cabling

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

4  Subsection 4(1)

Insert:

customer cabling has the same meaning as in the Telecommunications Act 1997.

5  After subsection 152AR(5)

Insert:

Access to customer cabling

          (5A)  An access provider must, if requested to do so by a service provider:

                     (a)  give the service provider access to customer cabling for the purpose of the service provider supplying carriage services and/or content services; and

                     (b)  take all reasonable steps to ensure that the service provider receives, in relation to the cabling, fault detection, handling and rectification of a technical and operational quality and timing that is equivalent to that which the access provider provides to itself;

if:

                     (c)  the access provider must, under paragraph (3)(a), supply an active declared service to the service provider in order that the service provider can provide the carriage services and/or content services; and

                     (d)  the access provider owns, or otherwise controls physical access to, the cabling; and

                     (e)  the access provider uses the cabling and a telecommunications network to supply the active declared service (whether to itself or other persons).

6  After subsection 152AXB(5)

Insert:

Access to customer cabling

          (5A)  An NBN corporation must, if requested to do so by a service provider, give the service provider access to customer cabling for the purpose of the service provider supplying carriage services and/or content services, if:

                     (a)  the NBN corporation must, under subsection (2), supply a declared service to the service provider in order that the service provider can provide the carriage services and/or content services; and

                     (b)  the NBN corporation owns, or otherwise controls physical access to, the cabling; and

                     (c)  the NBN corporation uses a telecommunications network and the cabling to supply the declared service (whether to itself or other persons).

National Transmission Network Sale Act 1998

7  Paragraph 16(1)(c)

After “(5),”, insert “(5A),”.

Part 3Pilots and trials

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

8  Subsection 152ARA(1) (note)

Repeal the note.

9  At the end of section 152ARA

Add:

Note:          For pilots and trials, see section 152F.

10  Subsection 152ARB(2) (note)

Repeal the note, substitute:

Note:          For pilots and trials of new eligible services or enhanced declared services, see section 152F.

11  Subsection 152AXC(1) (note)

Repeal the note.

12  Subsection 152AXD(1) (note)

Repeal the note, substitute:

Note:          For pilots and trials of new eligible services or enhanced declared services, see section 152F.

13  Subsections 152BCB(4A) and (4G) and 152BDA(4A) and (4G) (note)

Repeal the note.

14  At the end of section 152CJA

Add:

Note:          For pilots and trials of new eligible services or enhanced declared services, see section 152F.

15  Division 6B of Part XIC

Repeal the Division.

16  At the end of Division 11 of Part XIC

Add:

152F  Pilots and trials

             (1)  Sections 152ARA, 152ARB, 152AXD and 152CJA do not apply to a person’s conduct if:

                     (a)  the person engages in the conduct for the purposes of a pilot or trial of:

                              (i)  a new eligible service; or

                             (ii)  an enhanced declared service; or

                            (iii)  something that is ancillary or incidental to the supply of a new eligible service or an enhanced declared service; and

                     (b)  the duration of the pilot or trial is no longer than:

                              (i)  12 months; or

                             (ii)  a longer period to which the Commission agrees under subsection (2); and

                     (c)  before the conduct occurred, the person who engages in the conduct:

                              (i)  notified the Commission of the conduct in accordance with subsection (3); and

                             (ii)  published the notice on its website; and

Note:       The person is not required to publish certain parts of the notice: see subsection (4).

                     (d)  the notice remains published on the website until the end of the pilot or trial.

Note:          Sections 152ARA, 151ARB and 152AXD prohibit discrimination in relation to certain services. Section 152CJA relates to standard forms of access agreements formulated by an NBN corporation.

             (2)  The Commission may agree to a longer period for the purposes of paragraph (1)(b) if the Commission is satisfied that, for the pilot or trial to be conducted properly, it must be conducted for that longer period.

Notice

             (3)  The notice must:

                     (a)  be in writing; and

                     (b)  be in a form approved in writing by the Commission; and

                     (c)  specify the conduct and the person’s reasons for engaging in the conduct; and

                     (d)  describe the pilot or trial, including:

                              (i)  specifying the expected scale and duration of the pilot or trial; and

                             (ii)  specifying the parties involved in the pilot or trial; and

                            (iii)  specifying the geographical scope of the pilot or trial; and

                            (iv)  specifying the prices of any services the person supplies as part of the pilot or trial; and

                             (v)  describing any discount, allowance, rebate or credit the pilot or trial involves, including the reason for the discount, allowance, rebate or credit.

             (4)  The person is not required to publish on its website the part (if any) of the notice to which subparagraph (3)(d)(iv) or (v) applies.

Services declared etc. after start of pilot or trial

             (5)  A service the person supplies under a contract, arrangement or understanding for the purposes of the pilot or trial is not a declared service if:

                     (a)  the person meets the requirements of subsection (1) in relation to any conduct the person engages in for the purposes of the pilot or trial; and

                     (b)  the service was not a declared service at the later of:

                              (i)  the time the person entered into the contract, arrangement or understanding; and

                             (ii)  the time the person gave the notice to the Commission under subparagraph (1)(c)(i).

Note:          A service provider cannot be an access seeker in relation to a service that is not a declared service: see section 152AG.

Part 4Access determinations

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

17  After subsection 152BCA(2)

Insert:

          (2A)  The Commission must, in making an access determination that applies to an access provider that is not an NBN corporation (whether or not the determination also applies to an NBN corporation), also have regard to the method the Commission uses to determine terms and conditions it includes in access determinations that apply only to an NBN corporation.

          (2B)  The Commission must, in making an access determination that applies to an access provider that is an NBN corporation (whether or not the determination also applies to an access provider that is not an NBN corporation), also have regard to the method the Commission uses to determine terms and conditions it includes in access determinations that do not apply to NBN corporations.

18  After section 152BCG

Insert:

152BCGAA  Interim access determinations—consultation

             (1)  The Commission must, before making an interim access determination, consult such persons as the Commission considers appropriate.

             (2)  A failure to comply with subsection (1) does not affect the validity of a decision made under this Subdivision.

             (3)  This section does not affect the operation of subsection 152BCG(4).

19  After section 152BDAA

Insert:

152BDAB  Consultation

             (1)  The Commission must, before making binding rules of conduct, consult such persons as the Commission considers appropriate.

             (2)  A failure to comply with subsection (1) does not affect the validity of a decision made under this Subdivision.

             (3)  This section does not affect the operation of subsection 152BD(6).

20  Application of amendments

(1)       The amendment made by item 17 does not apply to making a final access determination if:

                     (a)  both of the following subparagraphs apply:

                              (i)  the Commission makes the access determination following a public inquiry about a proposal to make the determination as mentioned in Subdivision B of Division 4 of Part XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010;

                             (ii)  the Commission commenced to hold the public inquiry before the commencement of this item; or

                     (b)  both of the following subparagraphs apply:

                              (i)  the Commission makes the access determination otherwise than following a public inquiry about a proposal to make the determination as mentioned in that Subdivision;

                             (ii)  the Commission makes the access determination before the end of the period of 28 days starting on the commencement of this item.

(2)       The amendment made by item 18 does not apply to making an interim access determination if:

                     (a)  both of the following subparagraphs apply:

                              (i)  the Commission makes the interim access determination under subsection 152BCG(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010;

                             (ii)  the Commission commenced to hold the public inquiry mentioned in paragraph (c) of that subsection before the commencement of this item; or

                     (b)  both of the following subparagraphs apply:

                              (i)  the Commission makes the interim access determination under a provision of that Act other than subsection 152BCG(1);

                             (ii)  the Commission makes the interim access determination before the end of the period of 28 days starting on the commencement of this item.

(3)       The amendment made by item 19 does not apply to making binding rules of conduct if the Commission makes the rules before the end of the period of 28 days starting on the commencement of this item.

Part 5Special access undertakings

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

21  Subparagraphs 152CBC(6)(aa)(ii), (ab)(ii) and (ac)(ii)

After “varied undertaking”, insert “that met the requirements of subsection 152CBDA(3)”.

22  Subsection 152CBD(6)

Omit “special access undertaking”, substitute “varied special access undertaking that meets the requirements of subsection 152CBDA(3)”.

23  Paragraphs 152CBD(6)(a) and (b)

Omit “specified in the notice”.

24  Subsections 152CBDA(2) and (3)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

             (2)  The Commission may give the person a written notice that:

                     (a)  specifies variations to the original undertaking; and

                     (b)  specifies a period for the purposes of subparagraph (3)(a)(ii); and

                     (c)  states the effect of subsection (3).

          (2A)  The notice must not specify variations under paragraph (2)(a) unless the Commission considers that it would not accept the undertaking under section 152CBC if:

                     (a)  the variations; or

                     (b)  variations having the same effect;

were not made.

          (2B)  The notice may also suggest other variations to the original undertaking that the Commission considers desirable.

             (3)  The Commission must treat a varied undertaking as if the person had given the varied undertaking to the Commission instead of the original undertaking, if:

                     (a)  the person gives the varied undertaking to the Commission:

                              (i)  in response to the notice; and

                             (ii)  within the period specified in the notice; and

                     (b)  the variations include:

                              (i)  all of the variations specified in the notice under paragraph (2)(a); or

                             (ii)  variations that have the same effect as all of the variations specified in the notice under that paragraph.

25  Application of amendments

The amendments made by this Part apply to special access undertakings given to the Commission on or after the commencement of this item.

Part 6Fixed principles

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

26  After subsection 152BCD(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  Without limiting the matters to which the Commission must have regard in determining whether to include a fixed principles provision, the Commission must have regard to any relevant fixed principles provisions included in other access determinations.

27  Paragraph 152CBAA(5)(h)

Omit “for a reason that concerns”, substitute “on the basis of the inclusion or effect of”.

28  Subsection 152CBAA(6)

Omit “for a reason that concerns”, substitute “on the basis of the inclusion or effect of”.

29  At the end of section 152CBD

Add:

Fixed principles terms and conditions specified in other undertakings

             (7)  Subsection (8):

                     (a)  applies for the purpose of the Commission determining whether to accept the undertaking; and

                     (b)  does not limit the matters to which the Commission must have regard.

             (8)  In considering a fixed principles term or condition specified in the undertaking, the Commission must have regard to any relevant fixed principles term or condition specified in another special access undertaking accepted by the Commission.

Part 7NBN corporations

Division 1—Line of business restrictions

National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011

30  At the end of Division 2 of Part 2

Add:

Subdivision ERegulations

22B  Regulations

             (1)  Sections 18, 19 and 20 do not apply in circumstances the regulations specify.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, this section does not affect the operation of section 9 (Supply of eligible services to be on wholesale basis).

Division 2—Supply of goods and services

National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011

31  Section 19

Repeal the section, substitute:

19  Non‑communications goods not to be traded

                   An NBN corporation must not supply goods to another person unless:

                     (a)  the goods are for use in connection with the supply, or prospective supply, of an eligible service by the NBN corporation; or

                     (b)  the NBN corporation did not obtain the goods for the purpose of supplying the goods; or

                     (c)  the NBN corporation:

                              (i)  obtained the goods for the purpose of supplying the goods in connection with the supply, or prospective supply, of an eligible service by the NBN corporation; and

                             (ii)  considers the goods to be excess to the NBN corporation’s requirements.

Division 3—Authorised conduct

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

32  Subsection 4(1)

Insert:

listed point of interconnection has the meaning given by subsection 151DB(2).

point of interconnection has the meaning given by subsection 151DB(1A).

33  Paragraph 151DA(1)(b)

Omit “uniform national pricing of eligible services supplied by NBN corporations”, substitute “access to superfast carriage services by all people in Australia, wherever they reside or carry on business”.

34  Paragraph 151DA(2)(d)

Omit “and”.

35  Paragraph 151DA(2)(e)

Repeal the paragraph.

36  Paragraph 151DA(3)(b)

Omit “and”.

37  Paragraph 151DA(3)(c)

Repeal the paragraph.

38  Subsections 151DA(4) to (8)

Repeal the subsections.

39  Subsection 151DA(9)

Repeal the following definitions.

                     (a)  definition of listed point of interconnection;

                     (b)  definition of point of interconnection;

                     (c)  definition of price‑related terms and conditions;

                     (d)  definition of special access undertaking;

                     (e)  definition of uniform national pricing;

                      (f)  definition of use.

40  After subsection 151DB(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  A point of interconnection is a location for the interconnection of facilities.

41  Subsection 151DB(2)

Omit “For the purposes of this Division, a”, substitute “A”.

42  Subsections 151DB(2B) and (2C)

Repeal the subsections.

43  At the end of Division 16 of Part XIB

Add:

151DC  When Division ceases to have effect

                   This Division ceases to have effect when the Communications Minister (within the meaning of the National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011) declares under section 48 of that Act that, in his or her opinion, the national broadband network should be treated as built and fully operational.

44  Subsection 152AXB(4A)

Omit “within the meaning of”, substitute “see”.

45  Paragraph 152BCB(3B)(b)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (b)  preventing an NBN corporation from engaging in conduct that is so authorised.

46  Subsections 152BCB(3C) and (3D)

Repeal the subsections.

47  Paragraph 152BDA(3B)(b)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (b)  preventing an NBN corporation from engaging in conduct that is so authorised.

48  Subsections 152BDA(3C) and (3D) and 152CBD(5A) and (5B)

Repeal the subsections.

Part 8Declared services and eligible services

Division 1—Definition of declared service

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

49  Section 152AC (definition of declared service)

Omit “section 152AL”, substitute “sections 152AL and 152AQA and subsection 152F(5)”.

50  After section 152AQ

Insert:

152AQA  Definitive agreements and other arrangements

             (1)  Despite section 152AL, an eligible service to which paragraph 152AL(1)(b) (service that facilitates the supply of a listed carriage service) applies is not a declared service to the extent that the service is supplied under any of the following that are in force at the commencement of this section:

                     (a)  a contract, arrangement or understanding to which a determination made under subsection 577BA(9) of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (about structural separation) applies at the commencement of this section;

                     (b)  the contract entered into between NBN Co and Optus Networks Pty Limited (ABN 92 008 570 330) on 23 June 2011 and restated on 14 December 2014;

                     (c)  if the eligible service is supplied by an NBN corporation—an arrangement between an NBN corporation and another carrier (including an agreement entered into in compliance with Schedule 1 to the Telecommunications Act 1997).

Note:          It is not necessary for the contract, arrangement or understanding to describe the giving of access to facilities etc. as a service.

             (2)  Disregard any changes made to the contract, arrangement or understanding after the commencement of this section (other than a change that ends the contract, arrangement or understanding).

             (3)  To avoid doubt, subsection (1) does not apply to an eligible service merely because the eligible service is of the same class as an eligible service supplied under a contract, arrangement or understanding to which that subsection applies.

51  At the end of subsection 152CJA(1)

Add:

               ; or (d)  section 152AQA applies.

Division 2—Definition of eligible service

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

52  Subsection 4(1)

Insert:

eligible service has the meaning given by section 152AL.

53  Subsection 151DA(9) (definition of eligible service)

Repeal the definition.

54  Subsection 152AL(1)

Omit “section”, substitute “Act”.

55  Subsection 152ARB(6)

Repeal the subsection.

56  Subsections 152AXD(6) and 152BCA(5)

Repeal the subsections.

57  Subsection 152BDAA(6)

Repeal the subsection.

58  Paragraphs 152BE(2)(a) and 152CBA(3C)(a)

Omit “(within the meaning of section 152AL)”.

59  Subsections 152CJA(1) and 152CJB(1)

Omit “(within the meaning of section 152AL)”.

60  Subsection 152EOA(1B)

Repeal the subsection.