Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Determinations/Communications as made
This instrument determines a requirement of a primary universal service provider, (currently Telstra), to comply with performance standards in respect of each payphone it provides in fulfilment of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) in relation to the supply, installation or maintenance of payphones across Australia on an equitable basis.
Administered by: Communications and the Arts
Made 13 Dec 2011
Registered 16 Dec 2011
Tabled HR 07 Feb 2012
Tabled Senate 07 Feb 2012

 

 

Commonwealth of Australia

 

Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999

 

Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (Payphone Performance Standards) Determination (No. 1) 2011

 

I, STEPHEN michael CONROY, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, make the following determination under subsection 12ED(1) of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999.

Dated             13 December                      2011

STEPHEN CONROY

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy _________________________________________________________________

Part 1         Preliminary

1         Name of instrument

This Determination is the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (Payphone Performance Standards) Determination (No. 1) 2011.

2        Commencement

This Determination commences on 1 January 2012.

3        Definitions

In this Determination, unless the contrary intention appears:

Act means the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999.

external plant facility has the same meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Standard 2011.

extreme weather conditions means weather conditions that meet one or more of the criteria specified in Schedule 3 to the Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Standard 2011, as in force from time to time.

Note:      In relation to the reference to the criteria specified in Schedule 3 to the Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Standard 2011, see subsection 589(2) of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

fault or service difficulty has the meaning given by subsection 10(5) of this Determination.

major rural area means an urban centre or other recognised community grouping with a population greater than 2,500 but less than 10,000 people. 

minor rural area means an urban centre, locality or other recognised community grouping with a population of greater than 200 but not more than 2,500 people.

payphone performance standards has the meaning given by section 6 of this Determination.

remote area means a geographic area which is not an urban area, major rural area or minor rural area.  

rural area means an area that is either a major rural area or a minor rural area.

site means a place or area which is no greater than 10 square metres.

teletypewriter means a telephone typewriter which allows communication to be typed after the call is connected, enabling people with a hearing or speech impairment to use telecommunications equivalent to voice telephony.

urban area means an urban centre with a population equal to or greater than 10,000 people.

urban centre is a reference to a geographic area defined as an urban centre in accordance with criteria used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the most recent Australian Census.

working day in a location, means a day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday in the location.

 

Note:      Several other words and expressions used in this Determination have the same meaning as in the Act (see subsection 13(1) of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003). For example:

·         payphone

·         payphone carriage service

·         primary universal service provider

·         universal service obligation

4        Application of this Determination

 

This Determination applies with respect to a payphone that is:

                                                          (a)      situated (or proposed to be situated) at a payphone site specified in the payphone register that is in force from time to time in accordance with Part 5 of the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (Location of Payphones) Determination 2011; and

                                                         (b)      provided (or proposed to be provided) in accordance with paragraph 9(1)(b) and subsection 9(2A) of the Act.

Part 2    Performance standards

Division 1 Compliance with payphone performance standards

5        Primary universal service provider must comply with standards

(1)   A primary universal service provider must comply with the payphone performance standards, unless:

                                                          (a)      a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory prevents the provider from complying with a payphone performance standard; or

                                                         (b)      there are circumstances beyond the control of the provider that prevent it from complying with a payphone performance standard.

    (2)    For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b) above, circumstances beyond the control of a primary universal service provider include (but are not limited to) the following circumstances:

(a)        damage to a primary universal service provider’s facility used in relation to the payphone or supply of a payphone carriage service that is not caused by the provider;

(b)        a natural disaster that:

(i)         causes mass outages of payphones or payphone carriage services; and

(ii)        restricts the supply, installation and maintenance of a payphone or rectification of a fault or service difficulty;

(c)        extreme weather conditions that:

(i)         cause mass outages of payphones or payphone carriage services; and

(ii)        restrict the supply, installation and maintenance of a payphone or rectification of a fault or service difficulty;

(d)       a primary universal service provider is requested by a public authority to provide emergency communications services to assist in emergency action, and the provision of those services restricts the supply, installation and maintenance of a payphone or rectification of a fault or service difficulty;

Note: See subsection 5(4) for the definition of ‘public authority’.

(e)        a primary universal service provider is prevented from supplying, installing and maintaining a payphone or rectifying a fault or service difficulty, because the provider is unable to obtain lawful access to land or a facility;

 (f)       where a third party fails to provide sufficient power to operate a payphone which prevents a primary universal service provider from complying with a payphone performance standard;

(g)        the modification, maintenance or upgrade of a facility or network that is used to supply the payphone or a payphone carriage service, where such modification, maintenance or upgrade work occurs in connection with the migration of services to the national broadband network; and

(h)        the need to move staff or equipment to an area affected by circumstances beyond the control of the provider.

(3)        A primary universal service provider is not exempt from compliance with a payphone performance standard unless the primary universal service provider has procedures in place to ensure that it does not rely on the exemption in circumstances that are not beyond its control.

(4)      In paragraph (2)(d) above, ‘public authority’ means:

                   (a)      the Commonwealth or a State or Territory; or

                   (b)      a Commonwealth, State or Territory authority, including:

                   (i)        a police force or service; and

                               (ii)       a fire service; and

                   (iii)      an ambulance service; and

                               (iv)      a local government authority.

(5)        If a primary universal service provider was prevented from complying with a payphone performance standard as a result of:

                                                          (a)      a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; or

                                                         (b)      circumstances beyond the control of the primary universal service provider;

the provider must ensure it complies with the payphone performance standard from the time that the provider is no longer prevented from complying with the payphone performance standard by the law or the circumstances (as the case may be).

 

Division 2 Payphone performance standards

6        Definition of payphone performance standards

The payphone performance standards are the standards set out in sections 7, 8, 9 and 10 of this Determination.

7        Payphone performance standard – characteristics, supply and reliability of payphone carriage services

(1)   The standards set out at subsection (2) apply in relation to:

                                                          (a)      the characteristics of a payphone carriage service;

                                                         (b)      the supply of a payphone carriage service; and

                                                          (c)      the reliability of a payphone carriage service.

(2)  A payphone carriage service must:

                                                          (a)      allow for the making of automated national and international voice grade telephone calls 24 hours per day (even if the payphone supplying the payphone carriage service is located at a site that does not have public access 24 hours per day);

                                                         (b)      provide access to the emergency call service, which when called by a person, gives the person access to an emergency call person, free of charge 24 hours per day (even if the payphone supplying the payphone carriage service is located at a site that does not have public access 24 hours per day);

                                                          (c)      provide access to operator assistance for directory assistance, national and international call connection and reporting of service difficulties 24 hours per day (even if the payphone supplying the payphone carriage service is located at a site that does not have public access 24 hours per day); and

                                                         (d)      meet:

(i)     the guidelines set out in the Accessibility of Payphones Industry Guideline G630:2006 prepared by the Communications Alliance Ltd; or

(ii)   if replacement guidelines regarding the accessibility of payphones are published by the Communications Alliance Ltd, or a successor representative body, those guidelines as existing from time to time.

Note 1:   In relation to paragraph (1)(d), see subsection 589(2) of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

 

Note 2:   Section 7 does not apply in respect of a payphone or payphone carriage service that is, at the relevant time, experiencing a fault or service difficulty.

 

8        Payphone performance standard - supply of payphones

(1)        The standards set out at subsection (3) apply in relation to the supply, installation or maintenance of a payphone.

(2)        A primary universal service provider is not obliged to comply with the payphone performance standard under this section in respect of payphones which had already been supplied at the time this Determination commenced.

 (3)       A payphone must:

                                                          (a)      provide operating instructions, with the option of selecting text in languages other than English;

                                                         (b)      be able to be modified to include a teletypewriter attachment; and

                                                          (c)      meet:

(i)     the guidelines set out in the Accessibility of Payphones Industry Guideline G630:2006 prepared by the Communications Alliance Ltd; or

(ii)   if replacement guidelines regarding the accessibility of payphones are published by the Communications Alliance Ltd, or a successor representative body, those guidelines as existing from time to time.

Note:      In relation to paragraph (3)(c), see subsection 589(2) of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

(4)     For the purposes of the standard at paragraph (3)(a), a primary universal service provider must ensure that a payphone provides operating instructions in three or more languages other than English.

(5)     For the purposes of the standard at paragraph (3)(a), the other languages that may be selected for the provision of operating instructions must include three of the following languages:

                                                          (a)      Mandarin;

                                                         (b)      French;

                                                          (c)      Spanish;

                                                         (d)      Japanese;

unless the primary universal service provider is satisfied, having regard to the needs of the community, that it would be more appropriate to select one or more other languages.

9  Payphone performance standard - maximum timeframes for the supply, installation and maintenance of a payphone

   (1) The standards set out at subsections (2) and (3) apply in relation to:

                                                          (a)      the supply, installation or maintenance of a payphone; and

                                                         (b)      other matters concerning the supply, installation or maintenance of a payphone.

(2)   Where a primary universal service provider is under an obligation to ensure that a payphone is located at a site or at a new payphone location in order to comply with the rules about the location of payphones set out in the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (Location of Payphones) Determination 2011, the provider must ensure the payphone is installed no later than 3 months after the date at which a payphone is first required to be located at the site.

Note 1:                   The Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (Location of Payphones) Determination 2011 makes rules about the location of payphones, including rules requiring that a payphone be located in particular places and areas. 

 

Note 2:                   The Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (Public Consultation on the Location or Removal of Payphones) Determination 2011 makes rules concerning public consultation regarding the location of a payphone, including rules concerning the requirements to be met before a final decision may be made to locate a payphone at a particular site.

 

(3)   However, if the site at which the payphone is to be installed is in a minor rural area or in a remote area; and

                                                          (a)      either:

(i)     the site is not readily accessible to telephone network infrastructure; or

(ii)   there is insufficient network infrastructure capacity to effect service;

the provider must install the payphone at the site, where that site is:

                                                         (b)      in a minor rural area – no later than 6 months; and

                                                          (c)      in a remote area – no later than 9 months;

after the date on which the payphone is first required to be located at the site.

(4)   A site is not readily accessible to telephone network infrastructure if the site is not within:

                                                          (a)      close proximity to an external plant facility; or

                                                         (b)      range of a radio distribution system.

(5)   A network has insufficient network infrastructure capacity if the network does not have:

                                                          (a)      spare cable/fibre and network elements;

                                                         (b)      lead-ins; and

                                                          (c)      the availability of real-time charge signalling.

 

10      Payphone performance standard - maximum timeframe to rectify a payphone or payphone carriage service fault or service difficulty

(1)   The standards set out at subsection (2) apply in relation to:

                                                          (a)      the maximum period within which a primary universal service provider must rectify a fault or service difficulty relating to a payphone following the making of a report about a fault or service difficulty; and

                                                         (b)      the maximum period in which a primary universal service provider must rectify a fault or service difficulty relating to a payphone carriage service following the making of a report about a fault or service difficulty.

(2)   Subject to subsection (10), a primary universal service provider must rectify a fault or service difficulty within the following timeframes in relation to the fault or service difficulty:

                                                          (a)      for the transitional period, where the payphone is located in:

(i)     an urban area – 15 working days;

(ii)   a major rural area or a minor rural area – 20 working days; and

(iii) a remote area – 30 working days.

                                                         (b)      for any subsequent period, where a payphone is located in:

(i)     an urban area – 10 working days;

(ii)   a major rural area or a minor rural area – 15 working days; and

(iii)  a remote area – 20 working days.

(3)   For the purposes of subsection (2), the transitional period means the period between the commencement of this instrument and the end of the financial year in which this instrument commenced.

(4)   For the purposes of subsection (2), the timeframe for rectification of the fault or service difficulty commences on the day after the primary universal service provider receives, or it produces, a report about the fault or service difficulty (whichever occurs first).

(5)   To avoid doubt, a report about a fault or service difficulty can include an automated or electronic report that is generated for the purpose of making the primary universal service provider, or an employee or agent of the primary universal service provider, aware of a fault or service difficulty.

(6)   A fault or service difficulty is a fault or condition that affects the useability of the payphone or payphone carriage service, and includes, but is not limited to:

                                                          (a)      absence of a dial tone or ring tone;

                                                         (b)      inability to make a call due to:

(i)      the individual payphone; or

(ii)   a fault with the payphone carriage service supplied to that payphone; or

(iii)  a fault with the connection to the individual payphone;

                                                          (c)      disruption to communications because of excessive noise levels on the line; or

                                                         (d)      repetition of service cut offs.

(7)     For the purposes of subsection (6), a fault or service difficulty does not include a non-critical fault.

Examples of a non-critical fault

A non-critical fault may include a flickering light in a phone box; damage to a payphone booth; or damage to a payphone where at least one calling mechanism is still operating and available to a user to make a call. 

(8)     To avoid doubt, for the purposes of subsection (6), the useability of a payphone or payphone carriage service includes the ability for the phone or service to be operated by at least one calling mechanism.

(9)     For the purposes of subsection (8), any of the following is a calling mechanism:

                                                          (a)      coin;

                                                         (b)      phonecard;

                                                          (c)      credit card;

                                                         (d)      operator assistance;

                                                          (e)      reverse charge calling.

(10) If a primary universal service provider receives or produces a report that a payphone or a payphone carriage service is affected by a fault or service difficulty on a day that is not a working day or after 5 pm on a working day, the notification is deemed to be received on the next working day.