Project overview



On 25 August 2020, the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) was amended to enable superfast fixed line broadband networks serving residential customers to operate on a functionally separated basis (rather than a structurally separated basis).

Standard and Joint Functional Separation Undertakings

Under the amendments, network operators can voluntarily submit functional separation undertakings to the ACCC for approval. This is intended to provide greater commercial flexibility for superfast network operators and promote infrastructure-based competition.

Deemed Functional Separation Undertaking

In addition, the ACCC is empowered to determine a deemed functional separation undertaking that an eligible corporation can choose to be bound by instead of submitting its own customised voluntary undertaking.

On 16 October 2020, the ACCC issued a final deemed functional separation undertaking instrument and accompanying explanatory statement.

Class Exemption

The ACCC may also make determinations exempting small network operators from the requirement to operate on a wholesale-only basis. However, any such exemption does not remove the requirement for these operators to offer access to a wholesale service on non-discriminatory terms.

The ACCC issued a final class exemption instrument and accompanying explanatory statement on 25 August 2020.

Industry guidance on the carrier separation rules

The ACCC has prepared guidance to help network operators understand how the carrier separation rules apply to their businesses and what they need to do to comply with the rules.

More information about the guidance is available at: Industry guidance on the carrier separation rules