Communications Alliance proposal for industry managed numbering to streamline processes and enhance agility to customer needs

Sydney, 26 May 2017 – Management of Australia’s telecommunications numbering arrangements may be transferred from Government to industry in a bid for greater efficiency, under a proposal released today by Communications Alliance.

The proposal would see a range of responsibilities – including the allocation of fixed and mobile numbers, the provisions for ‘smart’ numbers (think ‘13TAXI’, for example,) and the management of numbering plan regulatory framework, placed in industry hands in a bid to create more efficient and agile solutions to customers’ numbering needs.

In its consultation paper, released for public comment today, Communications Alliance sets out its preferred approach to take on the management of telecommunications numbering. The proposed numbering scheme would transfer numbering management from the industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to Communications Alliance, as the peak body representing the telecommunications industry.

Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton noted "Through process improvement and resource rationalisation, this proposal has the potential to deliver greater efficiencies for the industry and a better experience for Australian telecommunications consumers.

The proposal would align with principles for an industry managed numbering scheme under deregulatory proposals in the Communications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation and Other Measures) Bill 2017, currently before Parliament.  Necessary changes to the Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Act 1997 have already been implemented by the Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Amendment Act 2016.

Adopting an industry-managed numbering scheme would be subject not only to passage through Parliament of the Bill but also to Communications Alliance reaching suitable agreement on the new arrangements with relevant existing service providers, i.e., the ACMA, ZOAK Solutions, Paradigm. One and Industry Numbering Management Services (INMS).

Release of this paper is a part of a broad consultation process with many stakeholders, including consumer representatives, regulators (i.e. the ACCC and ACMA), the Department of Communications and the Arts, and the telecommunications industry.

Communications Alliance invites comment by Friday 23 June in reply to the questions in the consultation paper.

Further information

The consultation paper is available from here.

The Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Amendment Act 2016 is available from https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2016A00008

The Communications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation and Other Measures) Bill 2017 is available from https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017B00057

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body  in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to  provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead  it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and  services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of  consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about  Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani Communications
Kurt Graham kgraham@sefiani.com.au
0431 478 558