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Are you using an unlicensed cabler?

  • Posted by Joel on January 4th, 2012

When you require plumbing or electrical services, you’d make sure to contact a licensed and qualified tradesman to perform the work. Data, voice and security cabling is no different – all communications cabling work must be performed by a qualified cabler who is fully licensed and registered with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Have you allowed an unlicensed cabler to perform work in your home, school or business?

A registered cabler can be identified by a card which they should carry with them at all times as proof that they can legally perform cabling work. All registered cablers must provide a compliance declaration sign-off form to the customer. This form is labelled ‘Telecommunications Cabling Advice’ and is commonly known as a TCA1 form. The form must be completed and signed to indicate that the cabling work complies with the Wiring Rules and a copy must be left with the customer.

Unlicensed cabling is a criminal offense – individuals caught performing unauthorised cabling work can be issued an on-the-spot fine of $1,320 by the ACMA, and can face court prosecution with a fine of up to $13,200 in severe cases. In addition to this, customers with illegal wiring may find that they are not covered by their insurance policy in the event of a fire or other incident which can be traced to the illegal wiring as the cause. You also run the risk of companies completely disconnecting your service if cabling does not conform to industry standards, leaving you without vital services such as phone and internet.

Allowing an unlicensed or unqualified cabler to perform work for you can come back to bite you in other ways too – when installing new cabling or upgrading the existing network, the entire process can be slowed down or even ground to a complete halt if previous work was not documented properly or does not conform to industry standards. This can end up costing you a substantial amount of money, and often the non-compliant cabling will have to be removed completely before new work can be attempted.

Any complaints about unregistered cablers or non-compliant cabling work should be reported to the ACMA via this electronic complaint form. To check if a cabler is licensed is quite a simple process. There are currently 5 registrars who can verify if a cabler is legitimately registered – ACRS, ASIAL, BRCA, FPA and TITAB. The cabler’s registration card will show which registrar they are listed with and you can access all 5 registrars here on the ACMA website. If you search the databases of all 5 registrars and cannot find your cabler’s information then there is a high chance that he or she is not qualified for cabling.

From personal experience we have known of small businesses who have been performing cabling for years with no license and their customers are none the wiser – make sure you always ask for a registration card! Licenses are only temporary and do expire, so it’s worth making sure you check your cabler’s credentials before every job, even if they have done work for you previously.

At Paragon Tech all our cablers are fully qualified and licensed by the ACMA through TITAB for all voice, data and security cabling. We take great pride in our work and strive to make sure all our clients are completely satisfied with the entire project – big or small. Please contact us if you would like a free quote for any cabling work or advice on reviewing any previous cabling work.