The security and resilience of telecommunications infrastructure significantly affects the social and economic well-being of Australia, and is vital to the delivery and support of other critical infrastructure and services such as power, water and health.

On 18 September 2017, the telecommunications sector security reforms became law and a 12 month implementation period commenced. From 18 September 2018, carriers, carriage service providers and carriage service intermediaries will have new legal obligations.

Key elements of the reforms include:

  • Security obligation: All carriers, carriage service providers and carriage service intermediaries will be required to do their best to protect networks and facilities from unauthorised access and interference – including a requirement to maintain ‘competent supervision’ and ‘effective control’ over telecommunications networks and facilities owned or operated by them.

  • Notification obligation: Carriers and nominated carriage service providers will be required to notify government of planned changes to their networks and services that could compromise their ability to comply with the security obligation.

  • Information gathering power: The Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs has the power to obtain information and documents from carriers, carriage service providers and carriage service intermediaries, to monitor and investigate their compliance with the security obligation.

  • Directions power: The Home Affairs Minister has a new directions power, to direct a carrier, carriage service provider or carriage service intermediary to do, or not do, a specified thing that is reasonably necessary to protect networks and facilities from national security risks.

These reforms are important to ensure the security and resilience of Australia's telecommunications infrastructure, as well as the social and economic wellbeing of our nation.

For more information you can read through the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 or find more information on our TSS Resources pages.