On 31 March 2022, the Australian Government announced that it had directed the ACCC to conduct an inquiry into towers used in the supply of mobile telecommunications and other radiocommunications services in regional areas, and into the feasibility of providing mobile roaming during natural disasters or other emergencies.
The Inquiry will be conducted under Part 25 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.
Individuals and stakeholders who would like to share their experiences are welcome to email their submission to the ACCC at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit it online via the consumer survey, which will be open until 12 March 2023.
Scope of the Inquiry
The inquiry will look at the costs of providing towers and associated infrastructure, including land access, and how these translate into the fee structures for firms that want to access towers to provide mobile and other wireless services. It will also look at the factors that are important for industry in deciding whether to invest in towers and provide better mobile coverage.
The ACCC will consider the technical feasibility of providing roaming during natural disasters or other emergencies, as well as what sort of business systems and processes will be required and the time and cost involved.
The inquiry will provide an evidence base to the Government to support future policy decisions.
Further details of the matters to be considered in the inquiry are provided in the Ministerial direction.