The following summary of the licensing process is adapted from: Carrier Licensing and Service Provider Regulation, Australia Communications Authority, the full text of which is available at: http://www.aca.gov.au/aca_home/licensing/radcomm/about_radcomms_licensing/carrier_index.htm and Liberalisation of the telecommunications sector – Australia’s experience, Australia Communications Authority, the full text of which is available at: http://www.dcita.gov.au/tel/telstra_shareholder_role/telstra_shareholder_-_history/liberalisation_of_the_telecommunications_sector_-_australias_experience.
The Telecommunications Act, 1997
“The regulatory framework under the Act [the Telecommunications Act, 1997] differentiates between service providers and carriers in terms of their legislative rights and obligations.” “Service providers are not subject to any licensing requirements but are required to comply with a range of obligations including standard service provider rules set out in Schedule 2 of the Act.”
“Carriers must be individually licensed by the ACA [Australian Communications Authority]. A carrier licence authorises the owner of network units to supply telecommunications services to the public. Licence conditions oblige carriers to meet a number of specified requirements including USO contributions, payment of annual licence fees, fulfilment of industry development plans and compliance with the telecommunications access regime. There is no limit on the number of carrier licences that may be issued by the ACA. Any corporation, partnership corporation or public body may apply for a licence.” A carrier licence is also subject to the conditions set out in section 152AZ of the Trade Practices Act 1974.