Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Amendment Bill 2015; Second Reading
That this bill be now read a second time.
The Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Amendment Bill 2015 will make consequential amendments to the Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Amendment Act 1997.
These amendments are necessary as a consequence of the measures included in the Communications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation and Other Measures) Bill 2015 to establish a framework to enable the telecommunications industry to develop a scheme to self-manage telephone numbering resources, provided certain safeguards are met. Currently, the Telecommunications Act 1997 requires that the Australian Communications and Media Authority, or ACMA, manage the numbering of carriage services in Australia, and the use of numbers in connection with the supply of such services.
While the proposed amendments to the numbering arrangements would enable industry to take on the day-to-day management of telephone numbering resources, it is also important to ensure that charges currently applied to carriage service providers for the holding of numbers continue to be collected. Currently these charges earn $60 million in revenue per annum. This requires an ongoing role for ACMA in the setting, levy and collection of these charges.
The consequential amendments to the Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Amendment Act in the bill before the House today reflect that the holding of telephone numbers by carriage service providers, for which charges arise under the Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Amendment Act, could in future be managed by industry and require interaction between the industry administrator and ACMA.
I commend the bill to the House.