Telstra has announced that as of the 8th of November 2022, they will waive the design fee for the provision of standard plans in response to a BYDA enquiry. This change will provide standard user requests with Telstra plans and information free of charge. This applies when a BYDA user selects any of the following “Activity Types” from the drop-down list in the BYDA system: Planning & Design / Conveyancing / Conveyancing, Planning & Design. These requests are associated with PDF & DWF types of responses.

Waiving the Telstra fee for design status referrals is a significant development for the Before You Dig service. Telstra encourages any individuals or businesses to obtain plans through BYDA before excavating. They recommend users consider utility assets in the planning and design process in order to plan ahead to minimise risk.

Telstra has removed the Charges for Standard Automatic Responses to ensure this does not impede obtaining and using Telstra standard plans for projects.

It is important to note that this change will not apply to large-scale enquiry requests. These types of enquiries will continue to incur a fee as large-scale enquiries are non-standard GIS requests. As a result, Telstra has to manually supply these files typically in DXF format, incurring costs to users.

Telstra waives design fee for BYDA enquiries

Historically, the fee for planning and design requests may have discouraged use of the BYDA service in some instances. It may have also led to incorrectly tagging design requests as construction enquiries. Therefore, to ensure this does not impede obtaining and using Telstra plans for every project, Telstra has removed charges for the provision of standard plans for any project stage. This change will improve access for users and members to valuable plans and information for excavation projects.

In addition, when you lodge an enquiry via the BYD service, Telstra provides an automated response directly to users via email. This email will include a plan of any Telstra network recorded in the requested area. It also contains vital information, including your responsibilities when working in the vicinity of the Telstra plant.

BYDA receives over 360,000 design and conveyancing-type enquiries each year.

BYDA receives over 360,000 design and conveyancing-type enquiries each year. With Telstra’s more than 250,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cables connecting Australians, protecting their assets is crucial. Damaging Telstra assets can potentially cause service interruption, delays, costly repairs and harm to workers and the community.

Any activity that involves breaking the ground can cause damage to underground communication networks. So whether it’s a large-scale project or something as simple as driving in a star picket or digging in your garden, you must always plan and prepare. Lodging a free BYDA enquiry online is fast and straightforward. And a final reminder before you start work, ensure you follow the 5Ps of safe excavation.