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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3410


Senator Ludlam asked the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, upon notice, on 19 April 2010:

What is the: (a) number; and (b) location, of places where a telecommunications carrier has installed a low-impact telecommunications facility on a residential building, i.e. a single standalone house or a multiple unit dwelling, which requires notification to the owner or owners via a land access and activity notice under Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 and the Telecommunications Code of Practice 1997.


Senator Conroy (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

I am advised that the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy sought the assistance of the Mobile Carriers Forum (MCF), a division of the Australia Mobile Telecommunications Association, to prepare the response to this question. The MCF previously provided data on the use of land access and activity notices (LAANs) which was used in preparing the response to Senate Question on Notice 2414.

The carriers that are members of the MCF, Telstra, Optus and VHA, maintain databases to track the issue of LAANs to ensure that activities are undertaken within prescribed timeframes. The MCF advises, however, that the data fields in the databases do not refer to specific property zones and as such the assessment of which sites are residential can only be approximated.

In relation to wireline activities the MCF has advised that the overwhelming majority of these activities relate to ‘pit and pipe’ work undertaken within road reserves. However, it is also necessary to place copper cable and optical fibre within land owned by third parties to deliver telecommunications services. LAANs are issued in this context as a procedural necessity.

The MCF has advised the Department that in 2009 approximately 523 LAANs had been issued to connect cable/optical fibre to the main distribution frames (MDFs) within multi-storey residential buildings. Principally these LAANs are used in new residential developments to expedite the provision of essential telecommunications services to allow occupancy. The MCF has advised that there is no significant volume of objection in relation to this process.

In relation to wireless facilities, the MCF has advised that the majority of activity is in relation to low impact facilities installed on commercial, retail or industrial properties. It advises that in most cases wireless facilities in residential areas are deployed on existing power and light poles. The MCF advises that according to the data provided to it by carriers, only four LAANs were issued for the installation of a wireless facility on a residential apartment building in 2009. The MCF further advised that there were no instances where a carrier issued a land access activity notice for wireless facilities on a single dwelling house.

The location of properties in relation to which LAANs were issued is treated as confidential by the carriers.