27 September 2023

Telstra gets bad call from ACMA

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued Telstra with a formal warning for failing to follow the rules for building mobile phone base stations.

Chair of ACMA, Nerida O’Loughlin said the rules, outlined in the Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry Code, were designed to make sure telcos provided Local Councils and communities with an opportunity to have their say before setting up mobile phone infrastructure.

“There is public concern about the roll-out of mobile infrastructure, including small cell base stations, in residential areas,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“Telcos must keep affected communities in the loop and consider their feedback when establishing or upgrading mobile phone base stations.”

She said that following a complaint from a resident, an ACMA investigation revealed Telstra contravened the rules by not fully complying with its consultation plan, which required it to contact residents in the immediate vicinity of the proposed base station.

She said that in addition, the telco did not send a letter containing the information to all interested and affected parties, and did not acknowledge a written complaint within 10 business days of its receipt.

“Telstra has taken steps to avoid such problems occurring in future, including reviewing its contractor complaints handling procedures and implementing regular training,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“ACMA’s formal warning puts Telstra on notice to minimise the risk of future breaches and ensure compliance,” she said.

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