CipherTel, Interphone and OptiComm are among 17 broadband providers freshly designated by the federal government as Statutory Infrastructure Providers (SIPs) under the government’s national SIP regime.
The SIP regime is part of a new Universal Service Guarantee (USG) covering broadband as well as voice. It is aimed at providing certainty that the National Broadband Network (NBN) operator NBN Co and other carriers make sure all Australians have access to either a superfast fixed-line, fixed wireless or satellite broadband connection.
Broadly, NBN Co is the SIP for areas it has declared ready for service, but other carriers can be designated as SIPs for new developments where they have deployed infrastructure. All premises in Australia are covered by the SIP regime.
Under the new legislation underpinning the regime, which commenced in July, all designated SIPs are required to provide retail service providers (RSPs) with a service capable of supporting peak download and upload speeds of at least 25/5 Megabits per second (Mbps). The services must also support telephony.
The government revealed on 27 August it had designated 17 Statutory Infrastructure Providers for broadband to over 325,000 premises in 1,592 locations around Australia. The 17 providers had been contracted by developers over the past 15 years to supply broadband services to premises in their developments.
These 17 providers join NBN Co, which is the default SIP for the whole of Australia, in the provision of broadband services. Together, they cover more than 12 million premises.
The providers are:
Fibre Asset Management
Real World Networks
Under the SIP laws, these providers, indeed, any designated SIPs, must comply with any standards, rules or benchmarks that are set by the Minister for Communications.
“These can include maximum time frames for the connection and repair of wholesale services, and set out associated appointment keeping arrangements,” said a statement by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
“The government can also consider whether standards or associated benchmarks are required in relation to network performance and reliability,” it said.
The government said it would designate additional developments over time. Where a developer has not contracted an alternative provider, they can contract NBN Co as the default SIP.