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Reform to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities to deliver better telecoms services for consumers

Australian consumers will see improved phone and internet services at affordable prices following reforms to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities.

Carrier powers and immunities are designed to strike the right balance between the community’s need to access reliable, affordable telecommunications services while ensuring that property owners, local governments and communities have a say in the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure that affects them.

“Industry analysis has estimated that reforms to carrier powers and immunities will deliver economic and productivity benefits to consumers worth tens of millions of dollars per year, as well as providing regulatory cost savings for industry and consumers,” said Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield.

Powers and immunities regulations allow telcos to install and maintain network infrastructure, such as pillars and antennas, quickly and cost-effectively. These arrangements ensure telcos can upgrade mobile coverage and install fast broadband services without the delays imposed by protracted development approvals processes.

The Government commenced consultation on 24 proposed reforms in June 2017. After giving consideration to the views of property owners, councils and other parties, the Government will immediately proceed with 10 reforms while conducting further consultation on 11 of the remaining proposals.

The Government will undertake further work this year with telcos and stakeholders to address feedback regarding existing processes for notifications and objections to works, dispute resolution arrangements, guidance for property owners on their rights and avenues for redress, and new arrangements for after an installation has been completed.

More information on the reforms and consultation process can be found at: https://www.communications.gov.au/have-your-say/consultation-possible-amendments-telecommunications-carrier-powers-and-immunities

Media contact:

Minister Fifield’s Office
Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 476 | Geraldine.Mitchell [at] communications.gov.au