Proposal to tighten the emergency call service requirements that apply to satellite phone services
The ACMA has released a public consultation paper on proposed amendments to the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2009 to address the issue of the small number of handheld satellite phone services that do not currently provide access to the Triple Zero emergency call service.
The proposed amendments are in response to concerns raised in the 2011–12 Regional Telecommunications Review.
Under the proposed amendments, all handheld satellite phone services will be required to provide access to Triple Zero from 1 July 2013.
They also introduce a tightly controlled and limited exemption regime open to high-level satellite services provided to commercial users (for example, shipping, aeronautical and mining industries) in circumstances where there is little or no expectation that Triple Zero is accessible and alternative arrangements for accessing emergency services are available. These proposed exemption arrangements do not include conventional handheld satellite phone services marketed to the general public. Customer notification requirements would also apply to all future exempt services.
Carriage service providers supplying satellite phone services are specifically being invited to provide a detailed description of satellite services they consider the ACMA should specify as exempt from the requirement to provide Triple Zero access.
The ACMA invites comment on the proposed amendments. Submissions can be made:
By email: EmergencyCallServices@acma.gov.au
Manager, National and Community Interests
Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 13112, Law Courts
Melbourne, Victoria, 8010
The closing date for submissions is 5pm, Thursday 28 March 2013.
Please direct any queries about the consultation paper to EmergencyCallServices@acma.gov.au or via telephone to the Manager, National and Community Interests on (03) 9963 6950.
Media enquiries should be directed to Blake Murdoch on (02) 9334 7817 and 0434 567 391 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication of submissions
In general, the ACMA publishes all submissions it receives.
The ACMA prefers to receive submissions that are not claimed to be confidential. However, the ACMA accepts that a submitter may sometimes wish to provide information in confidence. In these circumstances, submitters are asked to identify the material over which confidentiality is claimed and provide a written explanation for the claim.
The ACMA will consider each confidentiality claim on a case-by-case basis. If the ACMA accepts a claim, it will not publish the confidential information unless authorised or required by law to do so.
Release of submissions where authorised or required by law
Any submissions provided to the ACMA may be released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (unless an exemption applies) or shared with other Commonwealth Government agencies under Part 7A of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005. The ACMA may also be required to release submissions for other reasons including for the purpose of parliamentary processes or where otherwise required by law (for example, under a court subpoena). While the ACMA seeks to consult submitters of confidential information before that information is provided to another party, the ACMA cannot guarantee that confidential information will not be released through these or other legal means.
The ACMA is working to enhance the effectiveness of its stakeholder consultation processes, which are an important source of evidence for its regulatory development activities. To assist stakeholders in formulating submissions to its formal, written consultation processes, it has developed a guide called Effective consultation: A guide to making a submission. This guide provides information about the ACMA's formal, written, public consultation processes and practical guidance on how to make a submission.