ACRS Director’s Report
Peter Lamont – Director ACRS and NECA Senior Policy Advisor
The Australian Cabling Registration Service (ACRS) is one of five registered cabling registration providers approved by the Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA). ACRS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NECA and as well as providing cabling provider registration services, ACRS provides access to regular and timely up-to-date information on the state of the data and telecommunication industry, and makes representations to the Federal Government on behalf of the industry on policy and compliance matters.
One of the things that has become very evident during this COVID time, is the change is work patterns. With lockdowns, social distancing and changes to work arrangements we are seeing many more people working from home and an increase in the use of technology for work purposes. Our data and telecommunications workers are in high demand as businesses and householders improve their technological capacity. Online conference calls have become common place, people need greater certainty in their internet speed and capacity and trials are even being held on virtual reality meeting forums. While bandwidth and technology still need to be improved, it is an exciting time for our industry.
At the end of the September 2021, there were 26,475 providers registered through ACRS. The vast majority of these registered cablers (25,824) have Open registration, with smaller numbers having Restricted registration (612) or Lift registration (39). While we have seen good growth in the number of new registrations, at 321 for the quarter, ACRS is concerned by the high number of registered cablers, at 318, who did renew their registration during the last quarter. ACRS has an active process of contacting cablers when don’t re-register to make sure your cabling registration stays up-to-date. However, ACRS can only contact registered cablers when we have your contact details and these need to be kept up-to-date. If you have forgotten to let us know your current contact details or overlooked your registration renewal, give the office a call and we can assist you.
It is important that cablers keep their registration if they intend to undertake any work in the industry. Not only is it illegal to work with your cabling registration, any unregistered work could result in insurance claims being denied should anything go wrong. The penalties could be fines or loss of business income. Registration is easy and cheap and it provides a wonderful safety net for both the workers and for the owners of the premises where cabling work is undertaken.
ACRS continues to be active in policy debate, participates on the Cabling Advisory Group and meets quarterly with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Of particular interest to ACRS is to make sure that all the relevant standards are kept up-to-date and that cablers are informed about changes and how that might affect their work.
ACRS also lobbies WHS authorities to make sure that our data and telecommunications workforce are working in the safest possible environment. There are a lot of unsafe work situations in both domestic and business premises, particularly when workers need to crawl around ceiling spaces. The Queensland Electrical Safety Office at the moment, is warning all workers about defective vulcanised rubber electrical cables in ceiling spaces of houses built prior to 1960 that have reached their effective life and could be degraded and have exposed live wires. Be careful when working in ceiling or in fact in wall cavities.
As we approach Christmas, ACRS would like to wish all our data and telecommunications workers a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. We look forward to working with again in 2022.
Let people find your business – Cabler listings
ACRS is part of the Australian Registered Cablers network that maintains a website that allows members of the public or businesses to search for a registered cabler in their geographic area. It doesn’t matter where you work, it pays to have your business listed on this website. Regional areas in particular are seeing high demand for registered cablers but people often don’t know who to call.
The Australian Registered Cablers website is open to any sole trader or business that has an ABN.
If you are a sole trader, you must be a registered cabler and hold OPEN registration with the appropriate competencies. If you are a company, you must employ registered cablers with the appropriate competencies.
To apply for a listing, you will need to provide your contact details on the link below and select the required Tier level that suits your requirements.
If so, you have to register to participate in the ‘Registered Cablers’ program:
The COVID-19 pandemic has helped drive rapid growth in Australians’ online activity, increasing data downloads and heightening demand for high-speed internet plans, according to new research from the ACMA.
The research, which explores telecommunications trends, showed there were 8.2 million active broadband connections in Australia as of June 2021, up 11% on the previous year.
It also revealed considerable growth in data traffic, with Australians downloading a total of 9.8 million terabytes of data in the three months to June 2021, a 20% increase since June 2020.
The shift towards digital communications through the last two years has resulted in unprecedented reliance on telecommunications.
Complain about cablers or cabling work
If you have a complaint about a cabler or any cabling or wiring work they have done, The ACMA can investigate. They manage cabling issues and ensure that the work complies with regulations.
What the ACMA investigate
The ACMA investigate reports and complaints if:
- someone is working as a cabler without the correct registration
- a cabler has not followed the Cabling Provider Rules
- cabling products are not correctly labelled
- the work does not meet installation standards or other regulations.
What the ACMA do not investigate
They do not regulate or investigate the quality of work, such as messy or visible cabling. They can only act if the cabler is not registered (or supervised) or if they have breached the Wiring Rules .
If you are unhappy with cabling work completed in your home or office:
- Contact the person or company who completed the work.
- If you are still not able to resolve the situation, contact your local consumer affairs or fair trading office.
Three apprentices receive electric shocks
Three electrical apprentices received electric shocks during August 2021, according to WorkSafe Queensland .
It said the first incident involved a school-based electrical apprentice, who received an electric shock and burns to her hands while replacing fluorescent lights with new LED lights. Initial enquiries indicate she was working under the supervision of a licensed electrical worker in an administration building.
Meanwhile, WorkSafe Queensland said the second incident involved a first-year electrical apprentice who received an electric shock while fault finding on air-conditioning equipment. Initial enquiries indicate he was assisting an electrical tradesman to commission air-conditioning units and was working under the supervision of a licensed electrical worker.
The third incident involved a second-year electrical apprentice who received an electric shock to the back of her hand. Investigations indicate she was installing a PVC conduit for a new air-conditioning circuit when she contacted the bare end of the new conductors.
These findings are not confirmed and investigations are continuing into the exact cause of all incidents.
ECD publication October 2021
Has your Registration LAPSED?
If you are performing any type of cabling work then you are required to be registered.
Under the Telecommunications ACT 1997, it is an offence to perform any customer cabling work without the appropriate cabler registration.
If your ACRS registration has lapsed, do not panic.
Call the friendly team at ACRS on 1300 667771, who will be pleased to assist you in reinstating your registration.
Smart Wired Homes – Growth Area!
Smart wired home certification applies to telecommunications cablers not just electricians and specialist home automation installers, such as CEDIA members. Home automation requires significant cabling work and many cablers will need to transition to this work in the future.
As part of our membership of the registered cablers website consortium, along with other registrars and the ICAA (International Copper Association of Australia) information is provided on a voluntary code of practice for smart homes and information can be downloaded from the recently updated registered cabler website.
Information booklets can be downloaded free and include a guide to use with a customer when designing a network and a sample of the label that can be left on equipment at the premises for future reference. By certifying against the code, you are really only abiding by ACMA wiring rules and registration requirements, but the customer knows the job is a “smart wired” trademark installation. To be eligible to sign off on the smart wired home you need to be an open registered cabler with endorsements.
HEALTH & WELLBEING
BEING YOUR PERSONAL BEST – 8 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AT WORK
When it comes to the workplace, even small changes can bring about tangible benefits. As many of us spend a lot of our time at work, it’s good to check in every now and again about whether we’re doing everything we can to minimise stress and increase productivity. This has been increasingly difficult over the last twelve months, with many people’s jobs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether you’re working remotely or not, sometimes, just a few small changes could be all you need to help you feel that little bit happier at work.
1. Set achievable goals
Seeing a whole list of unticked boxes isn’t a great way to the end your work day. Try making a list at the start of every day that you think you can achieve on that day. Divide bigger tasks into sections and tick things off as you go.
2. Talk about your day
Talking can be a great way to process the day’s events and receive support. Make yourself accountable to a friend or family member by booking in a regular coffee date or phone call.
3. Set boundaries for ‘me time’
Put some time in your diary to recharge and not think about work. Turn your phone or emails off during that time to allow yourself to have a proper break and pursue something that will help you unwind. This should be a daily thing – whether it’s time for family, friends, exercise or watching TV.
4. Cut out time-wasters
If you’re in a busy work environment, you may find that there are certain tasks (or people) that you don’t enjoy spending time on. While it can be hard to avoid necessary activities that need to be done, try to limit your involvement and make more time for things you do enjoy.
5. Get your steps up
This may appear on every to do list ever, but exercise can be great way to clear your head when office politics start to take over. Start small by working in ten minutes here and there – walking an extra bus stop on your way to and from work, or getting some exercise during your lunch break if you’re working from home.
6. Be flexible
Full-time, five days-a-week isn’t for everyone, and likely won’t be moving forward for many businesses. If you’re finding that your current arrangements aren’t suiting your day-to-day life, consider asking for flexible working arrangements. This could be anything from leaving early on Wednesdays to pick up the kids and extra (purchased) leave to having a blend of working remotely and onsite.
7. Take your breaks
It’s easy to get caught up in meetings or eat lunch at your desk, but if this is becoming a regular thing it may be time to break the habit. Giving yourself a chance to rest and reset will help boost productivity when you return. This might be a quick walk around the block or eating lunch in the break room, or away from your workspace.
8. Stay focused
If you’re constantly getting distracted by background noise at work why not put your headphones on and pump up the beats. Listening to music can be both relaxing and a great way to block out chatterboxes. If music isn’t your thing, different websites have selections of soundscapes you can listen to like rainforests, the beach or even just white noise.
Helping a friend is easy when you know how.
Follow these four steps to let the conversation flow.
1. Ask – Start by mentioning anything different you’ve noticed.
2. Listen – Try to give them your full attention without disruptions.
3. Encourage Action – Help them focus on simple things that might improve their wellbeing.
4. Check In – Suggest a catch up, a phone call or drop them a message.
For more information or support on mental health in the workplace, visit beyondblue.org.au
Our office will be closed from Thursday 23 December and re open Monday 10 January 2022.
The staff at ACRS would like to wish our cablers and their families a
Happy festive season and a safe and healthy New Year.
Registered Cablers www.registeredcablers.com.au
Communications Alliance www.commsalliance.com.au
Authority to Alter Facilities in Residential & Small Business Premises https://www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco2/documents/authority-to-alterfacilities-on-resdential-and-smallbusinesses-premises.pdf
Alteration of Telstra facilities in homes & small businesses https://www.telstra.com.au/content/dam/tcom/personal/help/pdf-b/012882-alteration-of-telstra-facilities-in-homesand-small-businesses.pdf