ACMA Warning – CCA Cable

Copper clad aluminium cable does not comply with ACMA mandated industry standards

The following has been issued by ACMA:

Dear cabler,

The purpose of this e-mail is to bring your attention to a non-compliant type of cable that the ACMA has detected as part of its compliance operations. The product, known as copper clad aluminium (CCA) cable, is not compliant with Australian telecommunications cabling standards and cannot be used as telecommunications customer cable in Australia.

Nature of non-compliance
Due to the nature of its construction, CCA cable cannot comply with section 5.6.6 of the ACMA’s mandated telecommunications standards (AS/ACIF S008:2006 or AS/CAS008:2010 “Requirements for customer cabling products”). As CCA cabling cannot comply with the mandated standards, it cannot be legitimately labelled with the mandatory Australian compliance mark.

Safety Issues
Using CCA cable as customer cabling can have consequences ranging from relatively minor to catastrophic. Due to its higher resistance, compared to copper cable (as mandated by the standards), CCA installations may suffer degraded data throughout for similar length cable runs. With the proliferation of devices powered via Ethernet, the use of CCA cable will result in increased power dissipation in the cable which could result in the cable properties degrading and overheating.

Penalties
Under the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act), there are several offences that apply to the supply or installation of CCA cable for customer cabling. These include the following:

  • Section 411 of the Act provides it is an offence to connect incorrectly labelled customer equipment or customer cabling. The maximum penalty that a court could impose upon conviction is $13,200

  • Section 413 of the Act provides that it is an offence to supply unlabelled and/or non-compliant customer cabling. The maximum penalty that a court could impose upon conviction is $11,000

  • Section 414 of the Act provides that it is an offence to apply a compliance label to telecommunications customer cabling that does not meet the requirements of the ACMA mandated standards. Any CCA cable that carries an A-tick compliance mark would be the subject of an offence. The maximum penalty that a court could impose upon conviction is $11,000.

Under section 453A of the Act, authorised ACMA officers can also issue a telecommunications infringement notice with an associated monetary penalty to an individual or body corporate that has committed an offence, in lieu of having the matter heard in a court.

Contact the ACMA
Should you have any information about the supply, use or installation of CCA cable as customer cabling within Australia, I would encourage you to contact the ACMA. In the first instance, complaints or reports of non-compliant cabling can be made through the ACMA’s Cabling Complaint Form, found at the following address: www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/ACMAi/Complaints/Equipment-and-cabling-complaints

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