To provide guidance on the following:
- the regulatory environment that customer equipment Standards are legislated under including what requirements in a Standard can be made by the ACMA.
- relationship to relevant Communications Alliance documentation.
- identification of appropriate mandatory requirements/provisions for customer equipment/cabling Standards to be called up under telecommunications legislation.
- identification of appropriate voluntary/guidance information for customer equipment or cabling Standards or Guidelines.
Who are these guidelines intended for
- members of Communications Alliance Working Committees developing Standards, Codes or Guidelines related to customer equipment or cabling.
- members of other Communications Alliance Advisory Groups/Working Groups with activities related to customer equipment or customer cabling.
1.2 Types of publications
Communications Alliance, as an accredited Standards Development Organisation, develops and maintains Standards that are referenced under telecommunications legislation. Communications Alliance also develops customer equipment-related Codes and Guidelines.
The Standards in the four categories below, as referred to in the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act), are located at Technical CE Standards and Documents.
The legislative instruments, referred to as technical standards under section 376 of the Act, are located at Telecommunications standards list available from the ACMA. These legislative instruments call up, in whole or in part, the Communications Alliance Standards referred to above. The technical standards may be given regulatory effect by citing in the Telecommunications Labelling (Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Notice 2001 and the Telecommunications Cabling Provider Rules 2000.
NOTE: Communication Alliance Standards include AS/ACIF and AS/CA Standards.
These Standards are not to be confused with Industry Standards registered by the ACMA. Further information on Industry Standards is located at the Registers of industry codes and standards available from the ACMA.
Communications Alliance can also develop Standards that are not destined to be called up under the Telecommunications Act 1997.
a) Technical Standards about customer equipment and customer cabling
Customer equipment and customer cabling product Standards form the majority of Standards developed by Communications Alliance. These Standards are made by the ACMA under Section 376 of the Act. Section 376 provisions are commonly referred to as the ACMA’s ‘Heads of Power’ in making technical standards. Standards made under this section of the Act are to consist of such mandatory requirements as are necessary or convenient under these four Heads of Power.
The definitions for customer equipment and customer cabling can be found in sections 21 and 20 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 respectively.
b) Disability Standards
Disability Standards are made under section 380 of the Act.
Currently there is only one Disability Standard, the Requirements for Customer Equipment for use with the Standard Telephone Service — Features for special needs of persons with disabilities (S040).
c) Standards for cabling work
There are two Standards for cabling work that are called up under the Act: the Installation requirements for customer cabling (Wiring rules) Standard (S009), under section 421, and the Requirements for installation of temporary field telecommunications customer cabling for defence purposes, Standard (S035) under section 419.
d) Technical Standards about Interconnection of facilities
Standards about the interconnection of facilities, under section 384 of the Act, have never been developed.
In addition to these four types of Standards above, Standards Australia, as another accredited Standards Development Organisation, also develops Standards for the communications industry. These Standards include structured cabling Standards, radiocommunications, EMC and EMR Standards.
Standards Australia Standards
In addition to the Standards developed by Communications Alliance as outlined above, Standards Australia also develops Standards for the communications industry. These Standards include equipment safety, structured cabling Standards, radiocommunications, EMC and EMR Standards.
The only Industry Code that relates to customer equipment is the Information on Accessibility Features for Telephone Equipment Industry Code (C625). This Code specifies obligations on equipment suppliers to provide information to carriage service providers on features of their equipment that will meet people’s communications needs.
Guidelines and other publications
The following publications have been developed to support the Standards and Codes related to customer equipment and cable. These publications are not directly referred to under telecommunications Standard and Code legislation but are referenced by the Standards and Codes.
a) Supporting Arrangements
Supporting Arrangements describe the preferred behaviours for Carriers / CSPs supplying services and Equipment Suppliers supplying customer equipment for DSL customer equipment (G563). Typically, these arrangements address the assessment of suitability of CE for network integrity and interoperability.
The Supporting Arrangements for mobile and satellite customer equipment (ACIF G548:2008) were withdrawn in 2010 as a result of the maturing Australian telecommunications market. It was considered that the additional guidance on Carrier/Supplier arrangements that was provided by G548 was no longer providing any identifiable benefits for current Carrier/Supplier arrangements.
b) Other Guidelines
When guidance or supporting information is required but not considered appropriate for inclusion in a Standard or Code, a separate Guideline can be developed. For example, if the information is to be frequently updated then it may be better located in a Guideline.
There are three customer equipment/cable-related Guidelines:
- Acoustic safety for telephone equipment Guideline (G616) which supports the Voice frequency performance requirements for Customer Equipment Standard (S004)
- Operational Matrices for Reporting on Accessibility Features for Telephone Equipment Industry Guideline (G627) which supports the Information on Accessibility Features for Telephone Equipment Industry Code (C625).
- Installation of Broadcast Cabling and connection of Digital Broadcast Equipment to a Telecommunications Network Guideline (G642) which is called up by the ACMA Cabling Work Declaration to provide an exemption for broadcast cabling work from the ACMA Cabling Provider Rules.
1.3 Revision of Guidelines
Changes to these guidelines will be managed as required by the Customer Equipment and Cable Reference Panel with Communications Alliance signoff. A scheduled annual review of the guidelines is to be carried out by the Customer Equipment and Cable Reference Panel.
These guidelines replaced the following four Working Committee Guidelines:
Assessment of Network Integrity items for Standards (G533:1999)
- Assessment of Emergency Service Access and Network Interoperability Items for the Standard Telephone Service for Standards (G534:2003)
- Compliance levels in ACA Technical Standards development (G535:1999)
- Revision and amendment of Standards (G539:1999)