Telco act puts 'onerous requirements' on industry

The Australian telecommunications industry has warned that the Federal Government's proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Interception Act will have "onerous requirements" for telecommunications providers and could limit partnerships and outsourcing by Australian companies, further warning of a potential impact on Cloud services provision.

Speaking at a senate committee hearing into -- which seeks to enable greater cooperation, assistance and information sharing within Australia's law enforcement and national security agencies -- Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), chief executive, Chris Althaus, said Schedule 2 of the proposed bill was of major concern.

"Schedule 2 in this bill, we suggest, shouldn't proceed," Althaus said. "It is a schedule which is providing what we regard as onerous requirements on industry, and that has the potential to limit partnerships and outsourcing by Australian companies.

"It creates a non-technology neutral situation with uneven requirements in Australia versus other places in the world. It certainly will create uncertainty and high levels of risk. It certainly will delay and potentially limit the rollout of innovation and innovative products and constrain our members and the industry's ability to assemble competitive packages."

In essence, of the bill requires telecommunications providers to notify the government of any network change that system is likely to have a "material adverse effect" on the capacity of the organisation to comply with its obligations under the bill or section 313 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

According to Telstra manager, future networks and services, regulatory operations, Michael Ryan, the proposed bill had the potential to place additional burden on telecommunications companies looking to provide cloud services.