Media release 29/2011 - 17 March
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is seeking feedback on
allocation systems for telephone numbers in its third consultation paper about
the future of numbering in Australia - Allocation and charging of
Telephone numbers have historically been planned and managed as a scarce
public resource and are mainly allocated by the ACMA against detailed rules set
out in the Numbering Plan. This contrasts with the way other electronic
addresses such as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and internet domain names
are managed, and the approach to number allocation in other jurisdictions.
The paper examines these assumptions, and explores emerging trends and
Among the paper's findings is that there are more than 430 million telephone
numbers still available for allocation under the current Telephone Numbering
Plan, and for most number types less than 10 per cent of the numbers are in
use. This may raise issues about the efficiency of the current system.
It also notes that technology is likely both to complement and substitute
telephone numbers as IP-based services become more prevalent. This includes the
shift to internet-based voice, video and data services, and the roll out of
both fixed and wireless next generation networks.
Against this background, the consultation paper examines current allocation
arrangements and explores issues such as:
- is the scarcity of numbers likely to remain a useful assumption on
which to structure allocation arrangements or would simpler allocation and
charging arrangements deliver a more efficient outcome?
- are detailed prescriptive rules likely to remain appropriate for
managing the numbering resource?
- could changes to methods of allocation allow more efficient use of
- is there scope for allowing end-users of services to have a greater
degree of control over the allocation and use of their numbers - for
example, when they change provider?
The ACMA is seeking responses by 13 May 2011.
and charging of numbers is the third consultation paper in a series of
four. The first two consultation
papers in the numbering work program deal with the design and structure of
Australia's numbering plan and current pressures on existing numbering
arrangements. Submissions in response to them can be found on the ACMA's
website. The first paper gives the broader background to the numbering work
program and a valuable overview to the Numbering Plan in Australia.
The final paper, due for release in a few weeks, will focus on the role that
numbers play in delivering outcomes for consumers.
The ACMA administers the Numbering Plan, which sets out the rules for the
use and administration of telephone numbers in Australia. This was last
substantively reviewed in the lead-up to 1997, when mobile phones were being
introduced and Australia moved to ten digit phone numbers.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Emma Rossi,
Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7719, 0403 652 063 or email@example.com.
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The ACMA is Australia's regulator for broadcasting, the internet,
radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA's strategic intent is to
make communications and media work in Australia's public interest. For more