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Telecommunications Regulatory Update – December 2012

 

The ACMA seeks comment on draft international roaming standard

 

The ACMA has released for comment the Industry Standard 2013 (Standard). The Standard requires carriage service providers (CSPs) to provide certain information to consumers after an SMS-enabled device is activated overseas. The information, designed to reduce 'bill shock', includes:

 

•     a warning that the consumer is roaming;

•     the cost of using the device in that country;

•     how the consumer can stop roaming (the CSP cannot charge the consumer more than $1 to do so); and

•     how the consumer can find out more information about the roaming.

 

Submissions are due by 25 January 2013.

 

For more information please see the ACMA Media Release.

 

For further information please see the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Media Release.

 

The proposed Standard is available here.

 

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Proposed changes to charging arrangements for calls from mobile phones to 13/ 1800 numbers.

 

The ACMA has released a consultation paper on charging arrangements for calls to free phone and local rate numbers. The paper acknowledges that the cost of calls to free or local numbers can be high for long calls, especially where the caller is placed on hold for extended periods. The paper also noted the increasing proportion of consumers who do not have a land line and use their mobile phone as their primary or sole communications service.  The consultation paper reviews several methods of achieving the objectives of ensuring that all calls from mobiles to 1800 numbers are free and that all calls from mobiles to 13/1300 numbers cost no more than a local call from a fixed phone line:

 

Proposal A Proposal B
Implementation date 1 January 2015 Some time in 2014
Free calls - 1800 Calls will be free Calls will be free
Local calls - 13/1300 Limited to the ‘low charge amount’, which in turn is linked to a determination made by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Would be dealt through the included value component in mobile phone plans.

 

Submissions are due on 28 February 2013.

 

For more information please see the ACMA Media Release.

 

The consultation paper is available here.

 

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ACCC Discussion Paper on 'pull through' for Telstra Migration Plan

 

The ACCC has released a discussion paper seeking feedback from interested parties on the degree to which Telstra's proposed consultation processes on "pull though" will comply with the Telstra Migration Plan principles. The consultation will address situations in which NBN Co may need to use an existing line (copper or HFC) to pull the NBN fibre through the conduit that leads from the street to the premises to connect the premises to the NBN.

 

Submissions are due on 1 February 2013.

 

For more information please see the ACCC Media Release.

 

The Discussion Paper is available here.

 

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Reserve price set for digital dividend spectrum auction

 

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has issued directions to the ACMA setting a reserve price for 700 MHz spectrum at $1.36 per megahertz (MHz) per person in the relevant geographic area.

 

The Minister also increased the competition limits from 2x20 Mhz to 2x25 MHz for spectrum in the 700MHz band.

 

The auction for the 700MHz band and 2.5GHz band will commence in April 2013.

 

For further information please see the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Media Release.

 

The following Directions were made:

 

     Radiocommunications (Spectrum Licence Limits) Direction No. 1 of 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2012);

 

     Radiocommunications (Spectrum Licence Limits) Direction No. 2 of 2012 (Amendment No. 1 of 2012); and

 

     Australian Communications and Media Authority (Allocation Procedures ‒ Reserve Prices) Direction No. 2 of 2012.

 

 

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TIO reports number of roaming complaints down

 

TIO talks December edition reports that the number of roaming complaints is down in numeric terms. However, the value of disputed roaming charges remains high, averaging $1.6 million per quarter.

 

TIO talks also reported a general decline in the volume of new complaints. It provides detailed information about the number of complaints by state.

 

For more information please see the TIO Media Release.

 

TIO talks December edition is available here.

 

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Communications Alliance consults on Requirements for connection to an air interface

 

The Communications Alliance has released draft amendments to the requirements for connection to an air interface of a Telecommunications Network. The affected devices are back-to-base car communications and panic alert wearable devices (devices that do not use a standard telephone service). The draft amendments seek to clarify that these types of devices do not need to meet the requirements for emergency service access.

 

The public comments of the draft amendments are available here.

 

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