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Consultation on TPG Telecom’s request for extensions to Ministerial exemptions for its Canberra and Victorian networks

On 17 March 2020, TPG Telecom requested the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts to extend exemptions from the default structural separation requirements for Canberra VDSL and Victorian cable networks. We are seeking the views of affected parties on this request.

Why we want your input

The decision to grant an exemption is a matter for the Minister's discretion. Each request will be considered on its merits. The input of affected parties will be taken into account by the Minister in considering whether to grant the exemptions and if so then whether to place specific conditions on them.

How you can voice your opinion

You can voice your opinion by providing a submission to this public consultation process. Submissions are due by 5 June 2020

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is seeking comments on a request from TPG Telecom (TPG) for extensions to Ministerial exemptions relating to its VDSL networks in Canberra and its cable networks in Geelong, Ballarat and Mildura. Without these exemptions, TPG would be required by Parts 7 and 8 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 to supply wholesale layer 2 bitstream services on a wholesale-only basis over parts of these networks.

The exemptions were first granted in 2012, and without extension will expire on the Designated Day, the date by which it was assumed Telstra’s structural separation would be complete, which has been set at 1 July 2020. Under the Telecommunications Act 1997, the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts can exempt networks, lines and network owners from the Parts 7 and 8 requirements. The exemptions can be conditional or unconditional. They give the Minister flexibility to deal with unforeseen or other circumstances.

TPG also initially requested that the exemptions for the Telecommunications (Network Exemption-specified TransACT networks) Instrument 2012 be extended but later withdrew this request.

The Issue

Details of TPG's request and the Minister’s proposed changes to the exemption instruments are contained in the following documents. In summary, the Minister is proposing to extend the expiry date of the exemptions from the 1 July 2020 to the earliest of:

  • the day after a functional separation undertaking or deemed standard functional separation undertaking relating to local access lines forming part of the relevant TPG networks first comes into force for the purposes of Part 8 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.
  • the day two years after the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer) Act 2020 receives the Royal Assent, and
  • 30 June 2023.

Relevant Documentation

TPG request for variation to the Telecommunications (Network Exemption–TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks) Instrument 2012 and the Telecommunications (Network Exemption–TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

Published 20th May 2020

Download PDF (378.85 KB)

TPG request for variation to the Telecommunications (Network Exemption–TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks) Instrument 2012 and the Telecommunications (Network Exemption–TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

Proposed amendment to the Telecommunications (Network Exemption–TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks) Instrument 2012

Published 20th May 2020

Download PDF (507.41 KB) Download DOC (35.46 KB)

Proposed amendment to the Telecommunications (Network Exemption–TransACT Upgraded VDSL Networks) Instrument 2012

Proposed amendment to the Telecommunications (Network Exemption–TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

Published 20th May 2020

Download PDF (503.99 KB) Download DOC (35.32 KB)

Proposed amendment to the Telecommunications (Network Exemption–TransACT Very Small Scale Networks) Instrument 2012

Outcome

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications received one submission from NBN Co. The Minister also received independent advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) (download PDF) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

After considering this feedback, the Minister for Communications has decided to grant extensions to both exemptions until the earlier of the day after a functional separation undertaking or deemed standard functional separation undertaking relating to the TransACT very small scale or upgraded VDSL networks first comes into force or the day that is the second anniversary of the day on which the TLA Act received Royal Assent.

The amending instruments and the associated Explanatory Statements are available on the Department's Telecommunications Act Parts 7 and 8 requirements and exemptions webpage.

Participate

20 May 2020 09:00 AEST
05 Jun 2020 17:00 AEST
Closed
This consultation is closed.

Submissions

NBN Co