Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has steps to reducing cost and complexity for smaller telcos through a new draft Ministerial Determination.
The Telecommunications (Participating Persons) Determination 2011 (No.1) aims to exempt carriers that make less than $25 million in revenue from paying the Universal Service Obligation (USO) and National Relay Service (NRS) levies. These carriers will no longer be required to provide detailed revenue returns to Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
"It will reduce the regulatory compliance costs for smaller carriers as well as reduce administrative costs for ACMA,” Senator Conroy said in a statement.
Under current arrangements, telco carrier licence holders are obliged to pay annual carrier lience charges and contribute to the USO and NRS. The amount that carriers have to pay is determined by the financial information provided to ACMA.
Smaller carriers are disadvantaged in these instances as their eligible revenue return will often exceed their annual contributions to the levies, according to the Government.
Removing red tape for smaller telcos was one of the promises made by the Gillard Government last year.
A public consultation on the draft Ministerial Determination is underway and submissions should be submitted to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) by May 16.
The Government has been criticised for leaving smaller ISPs behind in its National Broadband Network (NBN) plans.