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Issue No 31: 28 November 2017


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New Industry Code to Assist in the Accuracy of Public Number Customer Data

A newly registered industry Code will improve the accuracy of the public number customer database that is relied on by emergency services to help Australians in danger or distress.

A revised version of the Industry Code C555:2017 Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) (and its associated Guideline G619:2017 IPND Data) has been registered by the industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The IPND is an industry-wide database of all Public Number Customer Data (PNCD).

The IPND serves as a repository of PNCD which broadly includes the Number, the Customer name, service address and Directory Related Services’ information which can be used, for example, to assist in the provision of emergency services and law enforcement.

This most recent version of the Code delivers on specific recommendations that came out of the 2015 IPND Review by the Department of Communications and the Arts. Changes to the Code include:

  • Stronger industry practices to support IPND Data Providers use of validation practices to improve data quality;
  • Development of guidance for Data Providers to implement processes that allow subscribers to easily view and correct their IPND records;
  • Establishment of awareness raising measures to highlight to subscribers the importance and need for providing correct information to their Carriage Service Provider, in order to ensure the IPND record is accurate.

The Code reflects practices that are the only achievable and practical approach to dealing with these matters.

Communications Alliance welcomed the registration of the IPND Code, which was generated as part of a collaboration between CA, Industry, the ACMA and The Department of Communications and the Arts for at least the past 5 years.

The IPND itself is a very important and useful database for emergency services and law enforcement, and the more accurate the data, the better equipped emergency service personnel can be to assist in times of need.

Carriage Service Providers will now have a period of 6 months to implement the new processes included in the Code and it is hoped that more customers will begin to become aware of, and understand the importance of keeping their provider up to date with their attest contact details.

The Code was developed by Communications Alliance and its members, and a copy can be found here.


Industry Calls for Clarity on Planned “Consumer Data Right”

Communications Alliance today called on the Federal Government to clarify its intentions around the planned introduction of a ‘consumer data right’ to apply to consumers of services including telecommunications.

The Government has announced it plans to legislate in 2018 following the May 2017 recommendations of the Productivity Commission (PC) to give consumers the right to request key data in a digital format to be made available to them or to a third party of their choice - the objective being to facilitate consumer switching between providers of key services such as banking, energy and telecommunications.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said government should confirm that – as recommended by the PC – industry will be given responsibility to define the data set that will be made available to consumers, subject to regulator approval.

“There are many categories of data that simply are not relevant to the task of informing consumers about their usage of services and which would needlessly drive up the cost to service providers of complying with the proposed legislation,” Mr Stanton said.

“It should also be recognised that the telco industry already gives consumers extensive access to billing information and has in place mechanisms – such as the world-leading Mobile Number Portability process - to make it easy for customers to switch providers.

If not managed correctly, the planned new regime will create ‘compliance jeopardy’ and potential confusion because disclosures by service providers are already regulated by the Telecommunications Act, the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act, the Privacy Act and multiple industry regulators.

“Industry supports the top-line objective of the PC recommendations, but we need clarity from Government if we are to be able to help avoid the legislation becoming a costly exercise in unintended consequences.”


Comment Sought on Industry Code C518:2006 Call Charging and Billing Accuracy Code

Communications Alliance is seeking public comment on the C518:2006 Call Charging and Billing Accuracy Code.

The Call Charging and Billing Accuracy Code (C518) was first published in 1998 and has not undergone any required changes since its third edition in 2006. This Code, as part of an Operational Deregistration review has been proposed for deregistration and repeal.

  • The requirements of this Code are no longer fit for today’s environment, given that there are no telephony services in Australia today which are purely circuit switched telephony services.
  • The Code itself is based on the AUSTEL Technical Standard TS029-1996 which is obsolete.
  • The PSTN Test Call equipment used for making and receiving test calls for assessing compliance with the Code are at end of life with very limited support available from manufacturers.
  • The telecommunications industry is very competitive and constantly evolving, and since the introduction of this Code, many plans in the market place now include high monthly call allowances for local, national and mobile calls, or unlimited bundles.
  • The Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code contains obligations that require suppliers to be able to verify and demonstrate Billing Accuracy.
  • The systems and process in place for conducting call charging audits are mature and stable and are reflected in the past 20 years of consistently satisfactory annual results.
The Code can be downloaded from here. You can use the Submit Comments form to submit your comments via email or go to the Contact Us webpage to obtain other contact methods such as by post or fax..  Information on the Operations Reference Panel, including the Terms of Reference, can be found here.

All submissions received will be made publicly available on the Communications Alliance website unless the submitter requests otherwise.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD CLOSES AT 5:00 P.M. (AEST) ON THURSDAY 7 DECEMBER 2017.


Comment Sought on Industry Code C519:2004 End to End Network Performance for the STS

Communications Alliance is seeking public comment on C519:2004 End to End Network Performance for the STS.

The End to End Network Performance for the STS Code (C519) was first published in 1998 and has not undergone any revision changes since 2004. This Code, as part of an Operational Deregistration review has been proposed for deregistration and repeal.This Code is based on the AUSTEL Technical Standard TS027 which is obsolete.

  • With the evolution of newer technologies, C519 has effectively been replaced by G634:2013 Quality of Service parameters for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.
  • The Code no longer has any practical value to consumers and industry due to the declining use of circuit switched networks.
The Code can be downloaded from here. You can use the Submit Comments form to submit your comments via email or go to the Contact Us webpage to obtain other contact methods such as by post or fax..  Information on the Operations Reference Panel, including the Terms of Reference, can be found here.

All submissions received will be made publicly available on the Communications Alliance website unless the submitter requests otherwise.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD CLOSES AT 5:00 P.M. (AEST) ON THURSDAY 7 DECEMBER 2017.

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