Bills Digest 96 1996-97 Telecommunications (Numbering Fees) Amendment Bill 1996


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WARNING:
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

CONTENTS

Passage History

Telecommunications (Numbering Fees) Amendment Bill 1996

Date Introduced: 30 October 1996
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Communications and the Arts
Commencement: The Act commences 28 days after it receives the Royal Assent

Purpose

This purpose of this Bill is to impose an annual charge rather than the existing on-off fee on telephone numbers held by carriers.The amount of the charge is determined by AUSTEL.

Background

The Telecommunications (Numbering Fees) Act 1991 presently provides for the payment of a one-off fee when a telephone number is allocated in accordance with section 242 of the Telecommunications Act 1991.There is a provision for the payment of an additional fee in respect of the allocation of 'special' numbers.

The telecommunications industry is currently the subject of a complete regulatory revision and the background to that revision can be found in a digest of the Telecommunications Bill 1996.

The Telecommunications (Numbering Fees) Act 1991 will, in fact, be repealed on 1 July 1997 and be 'replaced' by the Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Act 1996.Consequently, the changes made by this Bill are only relevant until that time.

Main Provisions

This Bill amends the Telecommunications (Numbering Fees) Act 1991 to impose an annual charge on numbers held by carriers and service providers (Items 7 and 8 in Schedule 1).

Item 6 sets out the circumstances in which and the period throughout which a carrier or service provider, Telstra or Optus is taken to "hold" a number:

  • a carrier or service provider holds a number where the number has been allocated to it under section 242(1) of the Telecommunications Act 1991.It is taken to hold that number until:
    • a) the number is recovered by AUSTEL;
    • b) the number is returned to AUSTEL;
    • c) where the number is allocated to Telstra, the number is allocated by Telstra to Optus in connection with the supply of AMPS (i.e. the analogue mobile network).
  • in addition to being taken to hold a number when it has been allocated to it under section 242(1), Telstra is also taken to hold a number where no allocation is in force, where:
    • a)Telstra (or any of its predecessors) has allocated a number to a customer and the allocation is in force at that time; or
    • b) the number is available to be allocated by Telstra to a customer.
  • in addition to being taken to hold a number when it has been allocated to it under section 242(1), Optus is taken to hold a number where a number has been allocated to it by Telstra and the number is for use in connection with the supply of AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System) services.

The amount of the charge imposed on a number is to be ascertained in accordance with a determination made by AUSTEL (Item 9).That charge cannot exceed $100,000 (Item 10).

AUSTEL is empowered to exempt a specified number from charge (Item 11).

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Lee Jones
5 February 1997
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine whether the Bill has been enacted and, if so, whether the subsequent Act reflects further amendments.

IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1323-9031
Commonwealth of Australia 1996

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1997.

This page was prepared by the Parliamentary Library, Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated: 25 March 1997



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