On 22 February 2012 the ACCC made a decision to declare a layer 2 bitstream service, to be called the local bitstream access service (LBAS). This declaration commenced on 13 April 2012. This declaration does not expire and cannot be varied or revoked.
The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures – Access Arrangements) Act 2011 (NBN Access Arrangements Act) introduced amendments to both the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Telco Act) and the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) regarding Layer 2 bitstream services. These amendments set out a regime to regulate the provision of Layer 2 bitstream services to ensure that these services are offered on an open and equivalent access basis.
The new subsection 152AL(3C) of the Act requires that the ACCC declare a Layer 2 bitstream service as soon as practicable after the provision commences. This declaration cannot be varied or revoked at any time in the future. The declaration also does not have an expiry date and continues indefinitely.
This Layer 2 bitstream declaration will apply only to services supplied using a designated superfast telecommunications network. A designated superfast telecommunications network includes a telecommunications network (except the NBN) used, or proposed to be used, to supply one or more Layer 2 bitstream services, and used, or proposed to be used to supply a superfast carriage service, to residential or small business customers, provided that the network:
- came into existence after 1 January 2011
- is upgraded after that time and as a result of the upgrade becomes capable of supplying a superfast carriage service.
A superfast carriage service is defined in subsection 141(10) of the Telco Act as a carriage service that enables end-users to download communications, the download transmission data rate is normally 25 Mbps or higher and the carriage service is supplied using a line to a premises occupied or used by an end-user.