Mandatory Standards within the Australian Marketplace had traditionally provided a level of comfort that the cabling products utilised within Australia were safe.
In recent times however, due to disruption in the traditional supply chain brought about in part by direct purchasing from overseas over the internet and by new players entering the marketplace that are not familiar with local regulations or choosing to ignore them has seen non approved products being supplied and installed within Australia.
In broad terms any communication cabling products that connect either directly or indirectly to the carrier network does need to comply. This includes data centres cabling and other tightly controlled environments.
The identification of non-approved cabling products within an installation after safety, security and reliability of end user systems has been comprised brings a number of challenges to address the risk and the associated impact of rectification on the ongoing operation of the facility- It’s hard to re-cable an operational hospital or prison.
It would appear that the best risk migration strategy would be to confirm the compliance status of products to be used on an installation before it is installed.
My understanding for compliant product marking is as follows, however it may also be beneficial to confirm the status of the product with the manufacturer/supplier as there has been examples of the compliance mark being applied to non-approved products.
Compliant Product Marking For Telecommunications Products
For all ACMA regulatory arrangements, the compliance label is the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM). The RCM replaces the A-Tick and C-Tick compliance marks used under previous regulatory arrangements. The RCM is a visible indication of a product's compliance with all applicable ACMA regulatory arrangements, including all technical and record-keeping requirements.
The Telecommunications (Labelling Notice for Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Instrument 2015, made under section 407 of the Telecommunications Act 1997, and associated standards forms the basis for regulating the supply of customer equipment and customer cabling connected, or intended for connection, to a telecommunications network or facility.
Prior to labelling a telecommunications product with the RCM, manufacturers and importers of telecommunications products must be registered as a responsible supplier and are required to make a Declaration of Conformance based on a compliance folder containing all relevant test results proving the product meets the requirements of the Telecommunications Technical Standard (Requirements for customer cabling products – AS/CA S008) 2015.
- RCM use commenced on 1 March 2013
- All new devices that were physically labelled for the first time from 1 March 2013 had to carry the RCM.
- There was a transition period of 3 years for marking existing new products from the previous A-tick and C-tick to the RCM, with that transition period expiring on 1 March 2016.
- The use of the A-Tick and C-Tick marks on all new products was phased out on 1 March 2016.
- Devices that had already been labelled with the A-Tick or C-Tick mark but not sold (e.g. factory or warehouse stock) prior to the end of the transition period may continue to be offered for sale beyond 1 March 2016 until all stock is sold.
- Products already installed that carry the A-tick or C-tick do not have to be re-labelled.
Any “new” products purchased today carrying either the A-tick or C-tick may not comply with ACMA regulatory requirements and are likely to be at least 4 years old.
More information on the RCM for telecommunications products may be found here.