Australia’s telecommunications industry is regulated under Federal law by the Telecommunications Act 1997 (latest version 19 July 2016).
The Telecommunications Act empowers the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with the responsibility for regulating and monitoring telecommunications cabling in Australia, which it does through the Telecommunications Cabling Provider Rules 2014 (CPRs) under subsection 421(1) of the Telecommunications Act.
The ACMA states that all extra-low voltage customer cabling (product and installation) that has the potential to be connected to the PSTN or internet must comply with the following regulations:
The CPRs regulate the cabling industry through an industry-managed registration scheme to ensure that minimum cabling requirements are in place to promote safety and maintain network integrity.
The major requirements of CPRs are that:
- All customer cabling work in the telecommunications, fire, security and data industries must be performed by a Registered Cabler.
- Depending on the cabling work performed, cablers must obtain either an Open, Restricted or Lift registration that meets the ACMA’s training competency requirements.
- A key requirement of the Wiring Rules is that telecommunications cabling is adequately separated or segregated from electrical cabling to avoid the potentially hazardous situation where simultaneous penetration from nails, screws, drills, saws and other sharp objects may cause harmful electrical current to appear on the telecommunications cable.
- Cablers are required to install only cabling product (including cable) and customer equipment that complies with the requirements of the Telecommunications (Labelling Notice for Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Instrument 2015 (TLN).
- Cablers must, at the completion of each cabling task, provide the client with a job sign-off form such as a Telecommunications cabling advice (TCA1) form.
- Cablers must provide all reasonable cooperation and assistance to ACMA inspectors and cabling auditors. Cablers can be subject to fines if they do not abide by their registration conditions.
BICSI is an ACMA-appointed cabling registrar, having conducted cabling registration duties on behalf of the ACMA (formerly Austel and ACA) since 2000. The entity – known as BICSI Registered Cablers Australia or BRCA – operates within BICSI South Pacific. Further details can be found at www.brca.com.au