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ACCAN responded to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ consultation on the circumstances in which Statutory Infrastructure Providers are exempt from the obligation to connect and supply premises with wholesale communications services, via telecommunication retail providers. The Department has been consulting on the draft Telecommunications (Statutory Infrastructure Provider – Circumstances for Exceptions to Connection and Supply Obligations) Determination 2020 that would give effect to these arrangements.

It is important that premises are only refused connection and supply of telecommunications services in limited and reasonable circumstances. ACCAN considers that generally the draft determination proposed by the Department ensures this is achieved.

However, ACCAN has recommended the following adjustments to the draft Determination:

  • The removal of the requirement for a premises to be situated at a location that has a street address or a physical mailing address, as not all homes have one. If this is not adjusted, it could lead to some premises being refused connection.
  • A provider should not be able to refuse a connection where civil works are required and have not been supplied. It is the responsibility of the network provider to arrange the necessary civil works, and therefore this should not be a reason to refuse connection.
  • There is a need to include greater flexibility around the timeframe for which access must be provided in order to connect premises to prevent situations where a consumer is refused connection due to failing to meet a timeframe.
  • The list of premises which are eligible for connection should be reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains comprehensive and fit for purpose.
  • There should be no requirement for the end user to attest that they have or expect to occupy or use a premises for a minimum duration. Similarly, there should be no minimum duration to consider a home as ‘continuously located’ and therefore eligible for connection.

 

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