Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Declarations/Other as made
Principal Instrument; This Declaration provides for three classes of declared kinds of carriers.
Administered by: DCITA
Registered 01 Jan 2005
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR16-Nov-2004
Tabled Senate16-Nov-2004
Gazetted 15 Sep 2004
Date of repeal 24 Sep 2005
Repealed by Enabling legislation repealed by Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Issues) Act 2005 (Act No. 119, 2005).

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

Telecommunications Act 1997

 

Industry Development Plans (Declared Kinds of Carriers) Declaration (No. 1 of 2004)

 

Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

 

The purpose of this Declaration is to allow the Minister to declare certain kinds of carriers specified in the Declaration to be declared kinds of telecommunications carriers.  The effect of being a declared kind of carrier is that the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) may issue an exemption certificate to exempt the carrier from the requirement to have a current industry development plan (IDP).  The ACA may also issue an exemption certificate to an applicant for a carrier licence if the ACA is satisfied that, if the applicant were to become a carrier, the applicant would be a declared kind of carrier.

 

The Declaration revokes the Determination entitled Exemption from Industry Development Plan Requirements (No. 1 of 2001), which previously provided for exemptions from the requirement imposed on carriers to have an IDP.  Since that Determination was made, clause 5 of Schedule 1 to the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act) has been amended.  The Declaration, made under the amended provisions, broadens the kinds of carriers that can be exempted from the requirement to prepare an IDP.  As a result the smallest carriers, comprising the bulk of the industry, should be exempt from the IDP requirements. 

 

The Declaration provides for three classes of declared kinds of carriers.

 

Paragraph (a) of the Declaration applies to certain carriers and is based on the levy contribution factor worked out by the ACA for those carriers.  The Telecommunications  (Universal Service Levy) Act 1997 imposes a levy on telecommunications carriers to fund losses incurred by Telstra Corporation Limited, as the primary universal service provider for Australia, in fulfilling the Universal Service Obligation (USO) under Part 2 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 (the TCPSS Act).  The purpose of the USO is to ensure that standard telephone services, payphones, prescribed carriage services (of which there are currently none) and digital data services are reasonably accessible to all people in Australia.  Most carriers are required to contribute to funding of USO costs by paying a levy based on their shares of the total eligible revenue of carriers.  The ACA works out a carrier’s levy contribution factor under Division 13 of Part 2 of the TCPSS Act by dividing an individual carrier’s eligible revenue by the total eligible revenue of all carriers for an eligible revenue period.   A carrier’s levy contribution factor is one element of the formula used to determine the carrier’s levy debit under section 20R of the TCPSS Act.  A carrier whose levy contribution factor is less than 1% of the total of the eligible revenue of all carriers falls within this class.

 

Paragraph (b) of the Declaration applies to newly formed carriers in relation to which the ACA has not yet made an assessment of their eligible revenue.  The basis for deciding whether a carrier falls with this class is the carrier’s estimated eligible revenue and its estimated annual capital expenditure.  A carrier is a declared kind of carrier if its estimated eligible revenue is less than 1% of the total of the eligible revenue of all participating persons assessed by the ACA under section 20F of the TCPSS Act for the most recent eligible revenue period or its estimated capital expenditure is less than $20,000,000.

 

Paragraph (c) of the Declaration applies to a third class of carriers.  Those primarily engaged in the provision of carriage services to educational and research institutions and establishments are also declared kinds of carriers. 

 

As it takes some time for a carrier to develop an IDP, the Declaration deems a carrier to continue to be treated as a declared kind of carrier for a period of six months from the date when the carrier is first notified by the ACA that its levy contribution factor is equal to or exceeds 1%.

 

Words and phrases that have particular meanings are defined for the purposes of the Declaration.

 

Based on 2002-03 data, the effect of this Declaration is that carriers covering 95% of the industry (by eligible revenue) will still provide IDPs, while the remaining 5% of carriers (by eligible revenue) will be exempted from providing IDPs.