Consultation on increasing carrier separation class exemption customer limit for superfast broadband network providers

Part 8 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act) requires network operators to structurally or functionally separate retail and wholesale business arms. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted a class exemption from these requirements for providers with under 2,000 customers, which can be increased to 12,000 through regulation. We are seeking views on whether such a regulation should be made.

Why we want your input

The decision to increase the exemption limit is a matter for the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts. The input of affected parties through this consultation process will be taken into account.

How you can voice your opinion

You can voice your opinion by providing a submission to this public consultation process. Submissions are due by 5pm Monday, 1 February 2021.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is seeking comments on whether the limit on an ACCC granted class exemption from the carrier separation rules should be increased for providers with up to 12,000 customers.

The Issue

The carrier separation requirements in Part 8 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act) require providers of superfast broadband services (i.e. more than 25 Megabits per second) to be either structurally or functionally separated. Recent amendments to the Act gave the ACCC the power to allow a class exemption for providers with up to 2,000 customers or up to 12,000 customers should regulations allow. On 25 August 2020, the ACCC granted a class exemption for providers with up to 2,000 customers. The ACCC decision also provided for any regulated increase of the limit up to 12,000 customers to automatically apply. Through this current consultation process, the Government is considering the merits of introducing a regulation which would increase the customer limit to 12,000 customers.


Relevant Documentation

Consultation Paper: Exemptions for controllers of superfast fixed-line networks from separation requirements

Published 13th Jan 2021

Download PDF (314.08 KB) Download DOC (156.99 KB)

This consultation paper seeks views on whether the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) should have the power to allow certain high speed fixed line networks (referred to as ‘networks’ in this paper) to offer both wholesale and retail services.


Following this consultation, the Government made regulations to increase the customer limit for the class exemptions to 12,000 customers.

The new regulations are available from the Federal Register of Legislation webpage.

Other information on the regulations and the telecommunications structural separation requirements is available on the Telecommunications Act 1997 Parts 7 and 8 requirements and exemptions webpage.

This consultation is closed.


15 Jan 2021 09:00 AEDT
05 Feb 2021 17:00 AEDT

The submissions that have been published on this consultation page have been created by third parties and may not meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements. For accessible copies of these submissions, please email

This consultation is closed.


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Australian Communications Consumer Action Network—ACCAN
Lyneham Networks