LGs to get clarity on carrier obligations around 5G equipment

Fact sheets setting out carrier obligations before and during 5G infrastructure installations are being developed for local governments, utilities, and infrastructure owners.

The information will help parties understand their right to object to proposed activities and the timeframes for making objections, the Federal Government said this week.

The Government was responding to a Parliamentary inquiry on the deployment, adoption, and application of 5G conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts.

The committee’s The Next Gen Future report published in March had recommended the Department of Communications and Arts [sic] “assess the suitability of current powers and immunities arrangements, especially in relation to the frameworks for raising objections, noting the likelihood of an increased number of installations for the deployment of 5G”.

It also urged the Federal Government to “begin a review of the low impact facilities framework to ensure that its powers to encourage co-location of facilities and equipment are fit-for-purpose in a 5G environment”.

In its response, the Government said its 5G strategy proposed action to streamline arrangements allowing mobile carriers to deploy infrastructure “more quickly and review existing regulatory arrangements to ensure they are fit for purpose”.

It also said the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is working with carriers to understand how 5G technology is likely to evolve, eg, whether transmitters are likely to get smaller, and the implications this will have for co-location of equipment on infrastructure”.

In its submission to the parliamentary inquiry, ALGA said the proliferation of 5G and other telecommunications infrastructure “has been an issue of concern to a number of councils”.

“While ALGA supports the rollout of modern telecommunications infrastructure to improve the lifestyles, environment, and economy of cities and towns, it needs to be balanced with proper process to ensure structural integrity, safety, urban design, and visual amenity is retained and visual interference is minimised.”