1. New Fibre Speed Record
  2. Cautionary note on using ACMA name and logo in public
  3. Report Locates Where Australian Businesses are Failing
  4. Invitation to Cabling Registration Webinar – Tue 8 August 2023

New Fibre Speed Record

A team of researchers (including BICSI corporate member Modular Photonics [part of Macquarie University], from Australia, Japan, Holland and Italy have set a new speed record for an industry standard optical fibre, achieving 1.7 Petabits – the equivalent to the combined speed of 17 million NBN broadband internet connections – over a 67 km length of fibre.

The fibre, which contains 19 cores, meets the global standards for fibre size ensuring that it can be adopted without massive infrastructure change. And it uses less digital processing, greatly reducing the power required per bit transmitted.

Macquarie University researchers developed a glass chip, which was essential to the creation of the 19-core optical fibre.

“We’ve created a compact glass chip with a wave-guide pattern etched into it by 3D laser printing technology,” explained Macquarie University’s Dr Simon Gross. “It allows feeding of signals into the 19 individual cores of the fibre simultaneously with uniform low losses. Other approaches are limited in the number of cores and result in the loss of too much light, which reduces the efficiency of the transmission system.

“It’s been exciting to work with the Japanese leaders in optical fibre technology. I hope we’ll see this technology in subsea cables within five to 10 years.”

Another researcher involved in the team and BICSI member, Professor Michael Withford [pictured] from Macquarie University, believes this breakthrough in optical fibre technology has far-reaching implications, noting: “The optical chip builds on decades of research into optics at Macquarie University.”

The fibre was developed by the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology and Sumitomo Electric Industries, while the chip development was performed in collaboration with the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, University of L’Aquila in Italy and Sydney’s Macquarie University.

The latest generation of subsea cables, such as the Grace Hopper cable that went into service in 2022, carries 22 Terabits in each of 16 fibre pairs. However, that’s still not enough to meet the demand for streaming TV, video conferencing and all our other forms of global communication.

“Decades of optics research around the world has allowed the industry to push more and more data through single fibres,” added Dr Gross. “We could increase capacity by using thicker fibres. But this would be less flexible, more fragile, less suitable for long-haul cables, and would require massive reengineering of optical fibre infrastructure. Or we could just add more fibres, but each fibre adds equipment overhead and cost and we’d need a lot more fibres.

“To meet the growing demand for movement of data, telecommunication companies need technologies that offer greater data flow for reduced cost. The new fibre contains 19 cores that can each carry a signal, a ground-breaking development that can achieve this.

Cautionary note on using ACMA name and logo in public

BRCA, along with all of the other registrars, were recently notified by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) of instances of registered cablers using the ACMA name and part of its logo in relation to their business or services, and issued the following memo to convey to registered cablers about what they are legally permitted to state publicly and what they are not.

The ACMA stated:
“Generally, we have noted that websites advertising the registered cablers’ business or service contain any of the following or variations of the following:

  • statements to the effect that certain cabling work within Australia must be performed by a “licensed ACMA certified technician” and that the company’s staff are “ACMA technicians”, “ACMA private technicians”, “fully licensed ACMA technicians”, “ACMA registered technicians”, “ACMA registered cablers” or “ACMA approved”;
  • a picture, located next to those statements, in the shape of a circle at the centre of which is an important part of the ACMA’s logo (namely the word “ACMA” using stylised letters) on the business website.

“The ACMA considers that the use of the ACMA’s name and part of the ACMA’s logo and its statements in relation to cabling arrangements, as described above, are unlawful.

“We ask the Registrars to draw their members’ attention to the information set out below.

Section 66 of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005

‘ACMA’ and ‘Australian Communications and Media Authority’ are protected names under subsection 66(7) of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 (the ACMA Act). Use of a protected name in relation a business, trade, profession or occupation, or in relation to goods or services, or in relation to the promotion, by any means, of the supply or use of goods or services (without the ACMA’s consent in writing or any other legal basis) is a criminal offence under subsection 66(1) of the ACMA Act.

“The ACMA considers that a business’ use of the ACMA’s name in relation to its business or services (including promotion of the use of the business or services), as described above, (which is without the ACMA’s consent in writing or any other legal basis) is in breach of subsection 66(1).”

Trademark and copyright
“The ACMA’s logo is an Australian registered trademark (number 1302533) which is owned by the Crown in right of the Commonwealth of Australia (the Commonwealth). This gives the Commonwealth exclusive rights to use the trademark for the goods and services in respect of which it has registration, including goods and services in telecommunications.

“The copyright in the ACMA’s logo is also owned by the Commonwealth. This gives the Commonwealth exclusive rights to copy or reproduce the ACMA’s logo, publish it and communicate it to the public.

“The ACMA considers that a business’ use of part of the ACMA’s logo in relation to its business or services, as described above, (which is without permission) is an infringement of both the Commonwealth’s rights in the trademark and copyright.”

Australian Consumer Law
“The ACMA considers that the business’ use of the ACMA’s name and part of the ACMA’s logo and its statements in relation to cabling arrangements are incorrect and likely to be misleading or deceptive to the extent that they indicate that:

  • certain cabling work in Australia must be performed by cabling providers who are ‘licensed’ or ‘certified’ by the ACMA or are ‘ACMA technicians’; or
  • the business’ staff are ‘licensed’, ‘certified’, ‘registered’ or ‘approved’ by the ACMA or are ‘ACMA technicians’.

“Under the Telecommunications Cabling Provider Rules 2014 (the Rules), certain cabling work must be performed by:

  • a registered cabling provider who is registered to perform the type of cabling work being undertaken and who has complied with the competency requirements that are specific to the type of cabling working being undertaken; or
  • a supervised unregistered cabling provider (see section 4.1 of the Rules).

“A registered cabling provider is registered under a registration system which is operated by registrars who have been accredited by the ACMA in accordance with the Rules (cabling registrars).  There is no ‘licensing’ or ‘certification’ of cabling providers by the ACMA itself, nor are there any ‘ACMA technicians’ that work for the company or any other third-party under these arrangements.

“A business’ use of the ACMA’s name and part of the ACMA’s logo and its statements in relation to the cabling arrangements, as described above, may give the public a false impression that the ACMA is affiliated with or endorses the business or services which may amount to misleading or deceptive conduct, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Further action
“The ACMA wishes to provide registered cablers the opportunity to address the issues identified above (if applicable).
“Any registered cabler who has been using the ACMA’s name or any part of the ACMA’s logo to advertise their business or service is requested to remove references to the ACMA’s name and any part of the ACMA’s logo as soon as possible.
“The ACMA is reviewing the material on websites, and it may also directly contact registered cablers if necessary. The ACMA reserves the right to take any further action if warranted.”

If you have any questions, please contact Cuong Nguyen, Assistant Manager via email: or phone: (03) 9963 6853.

Report Locates Where Australian Businesses are Failing

Credit bureau illion has released new data on the geographic areas of Australia that have the highest risk of business failure in 2023.

Sydney’s Western and South-western suburbs are in the unfortunate position of having the highest probability of business failure in the whole of Australia, while suburbs in Melbourne’s outer west and north-west have the highest risk of business failure, while in Perth, the outlying southern regions of the metropolis have the highest risk of business failure.

Meanwhile, in Queensland, the region around Inala, Richlands and Durack have the highest risk of business failure – twice as high as Brisbane CBD; while in South Australia, Playford has twice the business failure risk of metropolitan Adelaide.

The report provided a more granular geographical analysis, noting 11% of businesses in the Sydney metro areas of Cumberland were found to have a high risk of business failure over the next 12 months, with Canterbury/ Bankstown/Liverpool close behind with 10%, and Fairfield.

illion’s head of modelling, Barrett Hasseldine noted: “The whole of Australia should be watching and reading about Western Sydney very closely. Although they are further down the path, our data shows that the risk of business failure is increasing in all capital cities. Western Sydney has unfortunately become the national ‘canary-in-the-coal-mine’, and the canary has started to go quiet.”

In Melbourne, Wyndham has the largest percentage of businesses with a high risk of failure into 2023 at 8%, followed by Hume and Brimbank in Melbourne’s north-west with 7% each. These regions each showed a business trading risk substantially higher than the Melbourne CBD average of 4%.

Areas most at risk of business failure around Brisbane are in the region around Inala, Richlands, and Durack, each having more than 10% of businesses at risk; closely followed by Redbank, Redbank Plains, Collingwood Park, Woodbridge, Kingston, Waterford, Logan Reserve and Logan Central with over 9% at high risk of failure. Each of these regions has a business failure risk at more than twice the risk in the Brisbane CBD average of 4%.

In Perth the areas of Rockingham (6%), Kwinana and Mandurah (5%), Wanneroo (5%), Swan (5%) Gosnells (5%) are showing the highest business failure risk. However, on a national scale, this is significantly lower than other states. Perth is faring the best out of all the capital cities that illion collected data on.

Invitation to Cabling Registration Webinar – Tue 8 August 2023

You’re invited to attend a free webinar 7-8 am AEST Tuesday 8 August, specifically designed to address important details on cabling regulations.

The results of a survey issued to registered cablers earlier this year to find out what they’d like to know more about in our industry, indicated the most significant issue was the Wiring Rules (aka AS/CA S009 Regulations). In response, all five registrars – ACRS, ASIAL, BRCA, FPAA and TITAB – are collectively hosting a webinar entitled ‘The Importance of Applying S009 and adhering to its Guidelines’ to share vital info to all cabling professionals.

The ‘AS/CA S009 Regulations’ is the first of a series of free webinars for cabling professionals that the registrars are holding, with more to follow later this year, covering other topics identified in the survey as most important to cablers, including: “Differentiating Yourself from the ‘Cowboys’ through Compliance”; “Authority to Alter Lead-in Cabling and NBN NTDs”; and “Successfully Deploying Power Over Ethernet” to name a few.

The first webinar – entitled ‘The Importance of Applying S009 and Adhering to its Guidelines’ – is scheduled for 7.00 – 8.00am AEST on Tuesday 8 August, and will be delivered by Paul Stathis, CEO of BICSI South Pacific and Ian Millner, ICT Infrastructure Consultant for the International Copper Association Australia (ICAA), both of whom served on the committee that developed the current edition of AS/CA S009 Regulations.

Click here to register to attend this first webinar The Importance of Applying S009 and adhering to its Guidelines. Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive an email with the link to the webinar.

More on the survey results
The next biggest concern expressed in the survey was the quality of cabling work being done by so-called “cowboys”, many of whom were reported simply as “electricians”. Sadly it was reported that some people installing ICT infrastructure today aren’t registered cablers (those whom registered cablers refer to as “cowboys”). Tit should be understood by all that this is illegal in Australia and it’s up to everyone to report ALL such instances directly to the regulator – the ACMA. So we will address the correct procedures to ensure compliance (compliant products & workmanship, TCA1 & TCA2 forms, non-compliance reporting to ACMA and what they do with it, etc) in a forthcoming webinar. The lack of auditing undertaken by the ACMA was also frequently raised. This is a universal problem that the industry as a whole needs to address. We therefore need more complaints from the public; so if you see bad work, tell your customers to report it to the ACMA.

Another major ‘bug-bear’ identified in the survey was the frequent requests from consumers for cablers to move NBN equipment (mostly poorly placed NTDs) or re-route lead-in cabling, exacerbated by the uncertainty of what approval or documentation is officially required from NBN or other carriers to do it. We received several requests to cover this topic in a specific webinar too (by the way, it’s worth having a copy of the current NBN Authority to Alter and reading it).

Digital media on coax also featured, particularly installing cabling to AS/NZS 14763 part 2 of a customer’s premises and overlaying remote power. This then overlaps Power over Ethernet (PoE) which brings in heat-rise in cable and the derating of the cabling system under remote power.

There were other issues you raised— including fibre and wireless technologies —that we’ll also endeavour to address in future webinars. We hope to see you online soon on Zoom, where we hope to address issues that you’ve also expressed concerns over.