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January 8, 2018

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Cabling Compliance

January 8, 2018

Compliance is a word often used by regulators and Quality Assurance assessors and standard monitoring bodies, but often taken for granted in many operational environments.


Compliance to standards, particularly technical standards, is a core part of meeting quality assurance requirements in enterprises, and therefore ultimately meeting customer expectations. In the network of the future, with nbn as the principle wholesale network, compliance is even more important.


It is essential customer premises cablers be properly trained using nationally accredited programs and registers under the Australian Communications & Media Authority (AMCA) Cabling Provider Rule (CPR). However, despite ACMA and registrars widely advising ACMA CPR requirements, recently it was bought to our attention that many electricians have been told by RTO's and some agencies, they were qualified already to perform telecommunications/communications/data cabling work in customer's premises.


This is incorrect. ACMA still requires all trades who work on cabling to be qualified and registered with competencies recorded.


In customer cabling, which is now a lightly regulated area of telecommunications, where "self regulation" is the catch word, there is still a level on inspection and auditing by the regulator ACMA. Significant fines in the thousands of dollars can be applied for breaches.


At a recent meeting of the registrar Coordinating Committee chaired by ACMA, the subject of "audits" with the objective of getting a handle of how the industry was shaping up, was discussed. Registrars will be providing inputs to ACMA to advise on options for a low cost industry audit activity.


There is also risk of insurance claims and legal actions that can, and unfortunately do, arise occasionally, where dodgy or non compliant work sometimes inadvertent is involved and customers exercise their legal rights. Claims can sometimes be ruinous for cablers' businesses.


ACRS is working with other registrars and the International Copper Association of Australia (ICAA) - a copper industry lobby group, on an industry code for enterprise and work is well advanced. 


It will provide a marketing incentive to enterprises to improve "compliance", when implemented. There is no silver bullet to ensure everybody plays by the rules. As a CPR registrar we are involved in a number of committees ad industry activities to improve compliance.


But at the end of the day, we all have


to put in the effort needed, and over time ACMA audits and inspections, even if at a low level, should assist in that goal


Mick Logan

ACRS Master Cabler







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