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fourth-generation mobile telecommunications

Enhancements to mobile telecommunications systems that increase the usable data rate to allow the delivery of data-intensive applications such as high-resolution video.


fifth-generation mobile telecommunications

The proposed next iteration of broadband mobile telecommunications services that is expected to provide increased data rates and reduced latency to support greater connectivity and enable machine-to-machine services and the Internet of Things.


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Commonwealth regulatory body with responsibilities derived from the Trade Practices Act 1974.


Annual Carrier Licence Charge

An annual charge the Telecommunications (Carrier Licence Charges) Act 1997 imposes on each eligible carrier licence that is in force at the beginning of a financial year. The charge was established to fund the activities of the ACMA, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Department of Communications and the Arts in regulating telecommunications services provided by licensed carriers, so that those who create the need for the government activities meet the cost of those activities.


Australian Communications and Media Authority

Commonwealth regulatory authority for broadcasting, online content, radiocommunications and telecommunications, with responsibilities under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, the Radiocommunications Act 1992, the Telecommunications Act 1997 and related Acts. Established on 1 July 2005 following a merger of the Australian Communications Authority and the Australian Broadcasting Authority.


Australian Federal Police

The national and principal federal law enforcement agency of the Australian Government.


Australian Maritime College

Provides marine radio operator certification and examination services on behalf of the ACMA.


Australian National Audit Office

Office responsible for financial and performance audits of Commonwealth departments and authorities.


Annual Numbering Charge

A charge that applies to all eligible numbers held by a service provider determined by the ACMA.


Annual Performance Statement

Statements prepared by the accountable authority of a Commonwealth entity in accordance with section 39 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and section 16F of the PGPA Rule that acquits actual performance against planned performance described in the entity’s corporate plan. The statements may be audited by the Auditor-General, and must be provided to the entity’s minister and the Finance Minister.


average staffing level

The average number of employees receiving salary or wages over the financial year, with adjustments for casual and part-time employees to show the full-time equivalent.


In the internet industry, bandwidth refers to the capacity of a connection to carry information; in radiocommunications, it is the amount of radiofrequency spectrum used for a particular function.


Broadcasting licence fees

License charges payable by commercial broadcasters under the Television Licence Fees Act 1964 and the Radio Licence Fees Act 1964.


Describes a class of internet access technologies, such as ADSL, HFC cable and Wi-Fi, offering a data rate significantly higher than narrowband services. These services are usually ‘always on’ and do not tie up a telephone line exclusively for data.


broadcasting services bands

Parts of the radiofrequency spectrum dedicated to broadcasting services.


Communications Alliance

Australia’s peak communications industry organisation that promotes the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests.


The holder of a telecommunications carrier licence in force under the Telecommunications Act 1997.


Consumer Consultative Forum

Provides advice to the ACMA on telecommunications issues that affect consumers.


Customer Service Centre

The ACMA’s single point of contact for customer enquiries.


carriage service provider

Person supplying or proposing to supply services to the public using

carrier networks.


Children’s Television Standards

Standards designed to provide access for children (aged under 14 years) to quality television programs made specifically for them. The standards regulate timing and scheduling of children’s programs and content of adjacent programming.


A service that delivers content in the form of text, data, speech, music or other sounds, visual images or any other form or combinations of forms, where delivery uses the BSB.


Do Not Call Register

An Australian Government program administered by the ACMA to allow Australian numbers to be registered to opt out of receiving most unsolicited marketing calls or faxes (with limited exemptions for public interest organisations).


Department of Communications and the Arts

Australian Government department developing and delivering communications policy and programs.


domestic systems interference

Interference to the reception of radio or television broadcasting, usually in domestic premises.


Emergency Call Person

The Telecommunications (Emergency Call Persons) Determination 1999 specifies the operators of the emergency call services. Telstra is the ECP for Triple Zero (000) and 112.


Emergency Call Service Advisory Committee

Formerly the Emergency Services Advisory Committee. Advises on emergency services matters.



One billion hertz (where one hertz is the measurement of frequency equal to one cycle of electromagnetic radiation per second).


High-power open narrowcasting

Radiocommunications class licence type authorising radio services operating at very high power outputs in the frequency range of up to 1323 MHz.


International Association of Internet Hotlines

A network whose member hotlines work together with the goal of identifying and removing online child sexual abuse content worldwide.


Internet of Things

The interconnection of many devices and objects utilising internet protocols.


Integrated Public Number Database

Database of information about customers of telecommunications services in Australia, arranged by number, for all carriers and carriage service providers.


Information Public Scheme


internet service provider

Service provider offering internet access.


International Telecommunication Union

United Nations agency that coordinates international telecommunications matters.


ITU—Radiocommunication Sector

ITU body dealing with international radiocommunications matters.



One thousand hertz (see also GHz).


licence area plan

A legislative instrument setting out the licence area and technical specifications for existing and proposed services.



One million hertz (see also GHz).

the Minister

Currently the Minister for Communications, Cyber Security and the Arts. Minister responsible for the ACMA and its governing legislation.


memorandums of understanding

A formal agreement between two or more parties.


National Australian Built Environment Rating System

A rating system to measure a building’s energy efficiency, carbon emissions, as well as the water consumed, the waste produced and compare it to similar buildings.


Numbering Advisory Committee

ACMA committee established to advise on numbering matters.


National Broadband Network

Australia’s national wholesale-only, open-access data network.


NBN Co Limited

Wholly owned Australian Government company, created to design, build and operate Australia’s National Broadband Network.


National Consultative Forum


National Relay Service

Translation service between voice and non-voice telephone users providing access to the standard telephone service for people with communication impairment. Relays voice, modem or telephone typewriter communications.

Office of the eSafety Commissioner (eSafety)

Established as an independent statutory office within the ACMA, the Office leads online safety advice and education for the Australian Government and operates a complaints system so Australian children and young people can report serious cyberbullying. Formerly the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.


Online Safety Consultative Working Group

Advice forum attended by key representatives from industry, government and non-government organisations, providing opportunity for the eSafety Commissioner to consult on issues that contribute to improving the safety of Australian children online.


Portfolio Budget Statements

Informs senators and members of parliament of the proposed allocation of resources to government outcomes by agencies within the relevant portfolio.

priority assistance

Service for people with a diagnosed life-threatening medical condition entitling them to faster connection and fault repair of their fixed-line telephone service.


remote density areas

All areas outside Australia’s major cities.


Regulator Performance Framework

Developed to measure the efficiency and effectiveness with which regulators undertake their roles; in particular, their impact on regulated entities.


Senior Executive Service


small and medium enterprises


short message service

Mobile telecommunications data transmission service that allows users to send short text messages to each other using the mobile handset keypad.


Unsolicited commercial electronic messages sent to email, mobile phone and instant messaging accounts.


The span of electromagnetic frequencies used in communications systems.


Science, technology, engineering and mathematics

subscription television

Service providing access, for a fee, to television channels transmitted using cable, satellite or terrestrial microwave.

TCP Code

C628:2015: Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code

Code of conduct for the telecommunications industry in Australia providing consumer safeguards for mobile, landline and internet customers.


Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

Industry-funded independent dispute resolution service for consumers who are unable to resolve individual complaints with their carriers and carriage service providers.

trigger event

Relates to commercial regional radio licences and includes a transfer of a licence; or formation of a new registrable media group which includes a regional commercial radio broadcasting licence; or change of controller of a registrable media group that includes a regional commercial radio broadcasting licence.

Triple Zero (000)

Phone number that provides access to emergency services organisations.


universal service obligation

Obligation under the Telecommunications Act 1997 to ensure that standard telephone, payphone and prescribed carriage services are reasonably accessible to all people in Australia on an equitable basis, wherever they reside or carry on business.


Viewer Access Satellite Television

Australian Government-funded free-to-air satellite that provides digital television to viewers in remote areas of Australia who are unable to receive digital TV through their normal TV antenna.


very high frequency

Portion of the radiofrequency spectrum between 30 and 300 MHz.


Wireless Institute of Australia

Provides examination services to the amateur radio community on behalf of the ACMA.


World Radiocommunication Conference

ITU conference held every three or four years to review and amend international radio regulations.