Wireless sidesteps industry rules

The Federal Government will today sign a ministerial determination allowing wireless Internet companies to sidestep telecommunications industry rules.

Speaking at the Smart Internet Technology conference, IT Minister Richard Alston said under the new rules wireless carriers will no longer be required to apply for telco carrier licences, waiving an existing regulatory obligation to pay $10,000 in application fees as well as a percentage of annual service fees.

"Prior to this determination, wireless equipment used in Internet cafes or hotspots could be subject to carrier licensing obligations, which would not apply if the same business had been using cable to network its computers," Senator Alston said.

"By treating wireless technology similarly to cable-based networks, businesses using wireless technologies will not be unfairly disadvantaged by the carrier licensing obligations.

"This will encourage new players into the market and develop technology to boost the sector."

Senator Alston said a House of Representatives committee report on wireless Internet is expected to be handed down by the end of the year.

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