The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that TPG subsidiary Pipe Networks did not comply with recently updated rules around small mobile phone base stations.
The communications watchdog alleged that Pipe Networks failed to provide accurate and up-to-date information to a local council and residents during consultations on a proposed base station deployment, and also started work before the consultation was finished.
ACMA said if the company did not comply, Pipe may receive an infringement notice or face proceedings in the federal court.
“It’s important for telcos to keep affected communities in the loop and to consider their feedback when deploying new infrastructure”, ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.
The Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry Code aims to ensure mobile telcos consult with local councils and communities before deploying mobile phone infrastructure.
The new rules include tailored consultation provisions that are better suited to the rollout of smaller infrastructure, as well as provisions that enable community consultations about mobile base stations to use digital communication channels, such as social media and email.
“We expect to see more and denser deployments of small cells as demand for mobile services increases and as 5G networks are built,” O’Loughlin said.
“The ACMA will closely monitor the deployment of small cells to ensure communities are consulted in line with the new version of the code, and to identify any new concerns.”