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Proposal to make calls from mobile phones to freephone numbers free

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Issue for comment 21/2013 - 22 May 2013

Submissions received

The ACMA received 5 submissions to this consultation paper. The submissions (other than those over which confidentiality is claimed) are available below.

The ACMA is currently considering these submissions.

Background

The ACMA is seeking comment regarding a draft variation to the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 1997 (the Numbering Plan) which, if made, would mean that calls from mobile phones to freephone (18/1800) numbers were free to the caller. The variation also clarifies that freephone and local rate numbers must be used to provide these services.

While calls from fixed phone services can already be made to freephone numbers at no charge, calls from mobile phones are generally charged at a timed rate. This can lead to high costs for long calls, including those where the caller is placed on hold for an extended period. The increasing proportion of consumers who use their mobile phone as their primary or sole communications service potentially increases the quantity of calls being made to these numbers from mobile phones, making this a large and indeed growing issue for many consumers. This proposed change was previously outlined in a discussion paper released by the ACMA in December 2012 (see IFC 51/2012).

The draft variation Telecommunications Numbering Plan Variation 2013 (No. 1) is available in Word (.docx) or PDF formats.

Submissions

The ACMA welcomes submissions on this draft variation. Submissions should be sent to the ACMA

By Email: numbering@acma.gov.au

By Mail:
Manager
Telecommunications Licensing, Numbering and Submarine Cables Section
Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 13112
Law Courts
Melbourne VIC 8010

The closing date for submissions was 23 June 2013.


Effective consultation

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 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.

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 or certain other entities 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..

Last updated: 08 November 2013

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