The ACCC has the ability to collect information from industry through the record keeping rule to undertake its telecommunications regulatory functions. This information is published in the ACCC’s annual Communications Market Report which fulfils legislative requirements for the ACCC to monitor charges paid by consumers for telecommunications services and review competitive safeguards.
Following legislative changes in the Communications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation and Other Measures) Act 2019, the ACCC is required to review any record keeping rule relevant to the operation of Division 12 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, every five years with the first review to occur by 12 December 2020. In reviewing the RKRs and the information collected, the ACCC must give consideration to:
- whether the information is publicly available
- whether consumer demand for the goods or services to which the information relates has changed
- the usefulness of the information to consumers, the Minister and Parliament.
The Division 12 and Internet Activity record keeping rule fall within the scope of this review.
Division 12 record keeping rule
The Division 12 record keeping rule collects information on fixed voice, mobile and internet services on an annual (financial year) basis from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, iiNet and TPG. Data collected relates to services in operation (SIO), revenue, call minutes, number of calls and includes bill sample information.
The Division 12 record keeping rule was first issued in December 2004 and subsequently reviewed in April 2009, August 2010 and July 2013.
Internet Activity record keeping rule
The Internet Activity record keeping rule was published in December 2018 and collects information bi-annually from 13 retail service providers (RSPs) on the number of retail SIO in terms of access connection, wholesale speed tier and the volume of data downloaded across NBN, non-NBN fixed and mobile services.
As part of the review process, the ACCC issued a public consultation and position paper seeking submissions from stakeholders on the proposed changes to the Division 12 and Internet Activity record keeping rule.
Submissions closed on Friday 3 July 2020.
Draft revised record keeping rule
The ACCC released final drafts of the revised Division 12 and Internet Activity record keeping rule.
The ACCC sought comments from service providers that will be subject to the proposed new record keeping rule on any implementation issues arising from these instruments.
Comments were due by Friday 9 October 2020.
Final revised RKRs
On 8 December 2020, the ACCC published final versions of the revised Division 12 and Internet Activity record keeping rule. In reviewing the record keeping rule, the ACCC gave consideration to the legislative requirements for the review and submissions of stakeholders.
The changes to the record keeping rule will not take effect until the 2021–22 financial year.
If you would like to keep up to date with the Internet Activity record keeping rule and other communications news, subscribe to the ACCC’s Communications Information Network.