The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) has launched a public consultation on various amendments to the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 2015. The numbering plan sets out rules regarding the use, allocation, portability, and transfer of various types of numbers for telecommunication services in Australia. These rules are supported by a range of industry codes and guidelines, as well as contractual arrangements between telecommunication service providers. The numbering plan is managed by the ACMA and includes amendments under the Draft variations to the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 2015, registered on the Federal Register of Legislation in April 2016.
The proposed amendments are in response to changes in the sector and ongoing technological developments. They are intended to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. ACMA therefore invites comments and feedback on any of the following issues raised in the consultation paper:
- Efficient allocation of numbers:
ACMA proposes to decrease the standard unit for premium rate numbers and mobile numbers that may be allocated, transferred, or surrendered via the Numbering System from 100,000 to 10,000. Smaller unit sizes are expected to increase flexibility for the sector. Other amendments include decreasing the withdrawal notice period that service providers must give customers before recalling or replacing a number to 90 calendar days.
- Specifying the availability of geographic numbers in certain areas:
The amendment proposes to provide additional geographic number ranges in localities where numbers are predicted to expire in the next 2 to 5 years.
- Supporting scam disruption initiatives:
Together with telecommunication service providers, ACMA has been actively engaged in disrupting phone scams and has identified freephone, local rate, and premium rate numbers that have been misused to make scam calls. The proposed regulatory measures impose new obligations on telecommunications service providers, requiring them to identify and block these scam calls and texts.
- Other amendments are regulatory measures that promote inter alia:
End user long-term interests; developing sector competitiveness and improving the efficiency of the Australian telecommunications sector; accessible and affordable telecommunication services; the development of the value-adding and export-oriented service telecommunications sector; and research and development that promotes growth in the sector.
The closing date for comment and feedback submissions is 5pm AEST, Friday 4 November 2022.