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Tuesday, 6 June 1989
Page: 3474


Senator ALSTON(9.08) —I move:

(48) Pages 42 to 47, Part 5, Division 4, line 25 (page 42) to line 33 (page 47), leave out the Division, insert the following Division:

``Division 4-Customer Equipment

Connection of customer equipment

``114. (1) A person shall not knowingly or recklessly connect to a telecommunications network customer equipment which does not comply with technical standards determined by AUSTEL.

Penalty: $12,000.

``(2) This section does not apply to customer equipment connected to a telecommunications network if the customer equipment is connected in such a way that it is only capable of being used in the provision of telecommunications services that do not use the reserved services of a carrier.

Sale of customer equipment for which there is no permit

``115. (1) A person shall not sell to another person customer equipment that the person knows, or ought reasonably to have known, to be customer equipment the connection of which to a telecommunications network would be contrary to subsection 114 (1), without first informing the other person that the equipment does not comply with technical standards determined by AUSTEL.

Penalty: $12,000.

Accreditation etc. of test houses

``116. The regulations may provide for:

(a) the accreditation of test houses by AUSTEL;

(b) the testing of customer equipment by accredited test houses;

(c) the removal of the accreditation of test houses;

(d) the review of administrative decisions made in connection with the accreditation, or the removal of the accreditation, of test houses;

(e) the payment of the appropriate fee for applications for the accreditation of test houses; and

(f) any matter related to a matter referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e).''.

As it is currently expressed, division 4 provides for an elaborate regime of permits for customer premise equipment. We believe that that is not necessary and that there are ways in which the area can be supervised by providing punishment for wilful breach of technical standards. It should not, however, apply to competitive services. Presumably no rational competitor would want to cause harm to the network. On that basis we believe that the regime as set out is unnecessarily bureaucratic. It provides yet another justification for the imposition of fees which becomes a self-defeating exercise. We do not see the need for this type of approach.