Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Compliance

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

General

  • s 5 - the ACMA has responsibility for monitoring the broadcasting, datacasting, internet and commercial content service industries.

Ownership and control

  • Sch 1 Cl 1(2) - the ACMA is given a monitoring role over the broadcasting and datacasting industries relating to ownership and control.

Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005

  • s 10(1)(j) - the ACMA has the broadcasting, content and datacasting function to monitor compliance with those codes of practice developed under s 10(1)(i).

Telecommunications Act 1997

General

  • s 105 - the ACMA must monitor and report each financial year to the Minister on all significant matters relating to the performance of carriers and carriage service providers ('CSPs') (also with regard to the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) ('TCPSS') Act).

Telecommunications Act 1997

Protection of communications

  • s 295U - the ACMA must prepare a separate report on compliance with the integrated public number database ('IPND') scheme to the Minister at the time it produces its annual report, under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability ('PGPA') Act.
  • s 295ZC - if an emergency management person discloses IPND data that person must, within 2 months after the end of that financial year, give a written report to the ACMA and Information Commissioner.
  • s 308 - carriers, CSPs or number database operators must maintain records of IPND disclosures and provide annual reports to the ACMA within two months after the end of the financial year.

Telecommunications Act 1997

National interest and defence

  • s 312(1) - the ACMA must do its best to prevent telecommunications networks or facilities being used in the commission of offences against Commonwealth and State and Territory laws.
  • s 312(2) - the ACMA must give officers and authorities of the Commonwealth and States and Territories such help as is reasonably necessary to enforce the criminal law and laws imposing pecuniary penalties, protect public revenue and safeguard national security.
  • s 314 - the ACMA may appoint an arbitrator if a carrier/CSP or agency cannot agree on terms of access.
  • s 335(3) - a notice issued by a defence authority requiring a CSP to supply a service is of no effect if there is in force a written certificate issued by the ACMA stating that, in the ACMA's opinion, it would be unreasonable for the supplier to supply the service for defence purposes or for the purposes of managing natural disasters.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Ownership and control

  • s 130ZF - the ACMA has the discretion to investigate complaints relating to the conditional access scheme and, more specifically, an application for a reception certificate.
  • Sch 6 Cll 36, 37, 38 - the ACMA may investigate an offence or breach of a datacasting licence condition or the Code of Practice in response to a complaint, if it thinks that it is desirable to do so.

Codes and standards

  • Sch 6 Cll 36, 37, 38 - the ACMA may investigate an offence or breach of a datacasting licence condition or the Code of Practice in response to a complaint, if it thinks that it is desirable to do so.
  • ss 150, 151 - the ACMA may investigate a complaint relating to national broadcasting or datacasting services provided by the ABC or SBS, if it thinks that it is desirable to do so.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Technical regulation and standards

  • s 205 - the ACMA may refer complaints regarding interference disputes to a conciliator, appointed by it in accordance with s 202.

Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005

  • s 10(1)(m) - the ACMA has the function of monitoring and investigating complaints concerning broadcasting services (including national broadcasting services) and datacasting services.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Ownership and control

  • s 61AU - maintain the Register of Controlled Media Groups.
  • s 61CJ - maintain the Register of approved local content plans.
  • s 75 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of notifications under Division 6 of Part 5 of this Act.
  • s 59 -  the ACMA is to maintain an Associated Newspaper Register.
  • s 130ZE- the ACMA is to maintain a Register of conditional access schemes in relation to access to commercial television broadcasting services provided with the use of a satellite.
  • Sch 5 Cl 78 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of online services industry codes and industry standards.
  • Sch 6 Cl 12 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of datacasting licences that are not restricted.
  • Sch 6 Cl 12A - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of datacasting licences that are restricted.
  • Sch 6 Cl 48 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of nominated datacaster declarations.

Codes and standards

  • s 124 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of broadcasting codes of practice including all codes registered under section 123 of this Act.
  • s 130ZA - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of broadcasting industry codes and standards.
  • Sch 5 Cl 78 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of Internet industry codes.
  • Sch 6 Cl 30 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of Datacasting codes of practice.
  • Sch 7 Cl 101 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of Online Content Services Industry Codes and Standards.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Licensing

  • s 143 - the ACMA must establish and keep the Register of Radiocommunications Licences.

Telecommunications Act 1997

Carrier licensing and conduct

  • s 84 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of nominated carrier declarations and carrier licences.

Codes and standards

  • s 136 - the ACMA must maintain a Register of all registered industry codes and standards and all requests, notices and directions made under Part 6 of this Act.

Technical regulation

  • s 403 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of all connection permits in force and the conditions of all permits
  • s 442 - the ACMA is to maintain a Register of all cabling licences in force and all conditions of such licences

Numbering

  • s 465 - the ACMA, or its designated authority, must maintain a Register of allocated numbers

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Ownership and control

  • s 21 - a person who is providing, or who proposes to provide, a broadcasting service may apply to the ACMA for an opinion as to which category, or categories, of broadcasting services the service falls into.
  • s 74 - requests may be made to the ACMA for an opinion on whether a person is in a position to control a licence, a newspaper or a company.

Content regulation

  • Sch 7 Cl 44 - the ACMA may investigate: whether end-users in Australia can access prohibited or potential prohibited content; whether a hosting service is hosting such content; whether end-users in Australia can access prohibited content or potential prohibited content using a link provided by a links service; whether a person has breached a designated content/hosting service provider rule that applies to the person; whether a person has committed an offence against this Schedule; whether a person has breached a civil penalty provision of this Schedule; whether a participant in the content industry has breached a code registered under that Part that is applicable to the participant.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Licensing

  • ss 140, 141 - when requested, the ACMA is to provide advice on whether operation of a device is authorised under a class licence.

Technical regulation and standards

  • ss118QD, 118QE, 118QF - the ACMA may issue a certificate to an owner or operator of a broadcasting transmission tower, designated associated facility or site of a broadcasting transmission tower stating that compliance with the access regime is not technically feasible. In determining technical feasibility, the ACMA must have regard to:
    1. whether compliance is likely to result in significant difficulties of a technical or engineering nature; and
    2. whether compliance is likely to result in a significant threat to the health or safety of persons who operate or work at the tower or site; and
    3. if compliance is likely to have one of the above results, whether there are practicable means of avoiding such a result; and
    4. such other matters as the ACMA considers relevant.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

General

  • s267 - the ACMA can appoint inspectors by written instrument.
  • s276 - if an inspector seizes something, the ACMA may retain it; and may, by written instrument, authorise it to be released to the owner either unconditionally or with conditions.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

General

  • s 168 BSA - the ACMA may conduct investigations to inform itself of any matter relevant to its broadcasting, content and datacasting functions.
  • s 170 - the ACMA may conduct investigations for the purpose of the performance or exercise of any of its broadcasting, content and datacasting functions.
  • s 171 - the Minister may direct the ACMA to investigate a matter.

Ownership and control

  • s 61CR - Minister may direct the ACMA to conduct an investigation about whether to impose local content requirements on commercial radio licensees.
  • s 130ZF - the ACMA may investigate complaints about the conditional access scheme.
  • s 149 - the ACMA may investigate complaints under the BSA if the ACMA thinks that it is desirable to do so.
  • Sch 5 Cl 27 - the ACMA may investigate whether an internet service provider (‘ISP’) has contravened an applicable code under Part 5 of this Schedule or has contravened an applicable online provider rule.

Codes and standards

  • s 149 - the ACMA may investigate complaints under the BSA if the ACMA thinks that it is desirable to do so.
  • Sch 5 Cl 27 - the ACMA may investigate whether an ISP has contravened an applicable code under Part 5 of this Schedule or has contravened an applicable online provider rule.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Licensing

  • s 101 - the ACMA may, by written notice, request an applicant for a transmitter or receiver licence to submit a device for testing by the ACMA.

Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005

  • s 10(1)(d) - it is a function of the ACMA to conduct investigations or hearings relating to the allocating of licences for community radio and community television services.
  • s 10(1)(e) - it is a function of the ACMA to conduct investigations as directed by the Minister under section 171 of the BSA.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Ownership and control

  • s 103ZC - the ACMA may make whatever enquiries it thinks necessary or desirable in order to determine whether an annual return given to it contains correct information.

Content regulation

  • s 130ZUA - a commercial TV broadcasting licensee or national broadcaster may apply to the ACMA for an order that exempts them from captioning requirements on the basis of unjustifiable hardship.
  • s 130ZY - a subscription TV licensee may apply to the ACMA for an order that exempts them from captioning requirements.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

General

  • s 255 - the ACMA may hold a public inquiry about any matter relating to management of the radiofrequency spectrum or any other aspect of radio emissions (it must not hold an inquiry about the operation of a broadcasting station unless it relates to interference).
  • s 256 - the ACMA must hold an inquiry when directed to do so by the Minister, particularly relating to management of the radiofrequency spectrum or any other aspect of radio emissions.
  • ss 257, 258, 259, 261, 261A, 261B - the ACMA must inform the public about a public inquiry; may cause a discussion paper to be prepared; provide a reasonable opportunity for written submissions to be made; and may hold hearings; hearings may be held in private in exceptional circumstances; confidential material is not to published.
  • s 261C - the ACMA may direct a person present at a hearing restricting the disclosure of evidence.
  • s 261D - the ACMA must prepare a report setting out the findings of any public inquiry.

Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act

  • s 46 - the ACMA may make whatever inquiries it thinks necessary to determine whether a person's eligible revenue return for an eligible revenue period correctly states the person's eligible revenue for that period.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Content regulation

  • s 130ZUA - a licensee may apply to the ACMA for a target reduction order that reduces their captioning targets.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Ownership and control

  • Sch 2 Cl 7E - the ACMA may, by legislative instrument, determine that a s 38C licensee is not obliged to provide certain services because it is not technically feasible.
  • Sch 2 Cl 7F - the ACMA may, by legislative instrument, determine that a s 38C licensee is not obliged to provide certain services because the program content of the service provided will be the same or substantially the same as the program content of another commercial television service.

Content regulation

  • Sch 6 Cl 27A - the ACMA may make an exemption order relating to a datacasting licensee copying content from the internet.
  • Sch 5 Cl 84 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning if a person contravenes an online provider rule.

Codes and standards

  • s 130BA - the ACMA may, by legislative instrument, exempt specified domestic reception equipment from certain technical standards relating to terrestrial transmission.
  • s 130BB - the ACMA may, by legislative instrument, exempt specified domestic reception equipment from certain technical standards relating to satellite transmission.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Licensing

  • s 28 - parts 3.1 (unlicensed radiocommunications), 4.1(standards and other technical regulation) and 4.2 (offences relating to radio emission) do not apply to anything done by the ACMA in connection with the use of a device in performing its functions or exercising its powers under this Act.

Technical regulation and standards

  • s 28 - see above.
  • ss 166, 167 - the ACMA may, in writing, issue permits for non-standard devices.
  • s 171 - the ACMA may, by written notice, cancel a permit.
  • s 193 - the ACMA may give permission, in writing, to a person to use a transmitter that causes interference.

Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act

  • s 120 - the ACMA may make a provision for a customer or CSP to waive their protections and rights.
  • s 129 - the ACMA may, by writing, declare that a specified carrier or CSP is exempt from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman ('TIO') scheme.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

General

  • s 121FP - the ACMA must formulate written guidelines relating to international broadcasting services.

Content regulation

  • Sch 7 Cl 109 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning if satisfied that a person has contravened or is contravening an applicable designated content/hosting service provider rule.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

General

  • s 262 RA - the ACMA may make written advisory guidelines about any aspect of radiocommunications or radio emissions, and must give a copy to the Minister and publish each guideline.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

General

  • s 168 - in informing itself on any matter relevant to its broadcasting content and datacasting functions, the ACMA may obtain information through hearings, consultations, or any other manner it thinks fit.