ACCC issues discussion paper on data network access service number portability

19 November 2004

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today issued a discussion paper on number portability for Data Network Access Services.

Number portability is the ability of customers to change their network provider and/or service provider while retaining the same service number. The absence of number portability effectively locks many customers into a particular service provider by making it expensive and inconvenient for consumers to switch providers.

A Data Network Access Service (DNAS) provides a user on a network other than a data network the ability to gain access to a data network or to features or facilities on a data network. Unlike geographic or digital mobile numbers, a DNAS number does not identify an end point, such as a handset or terminal. Data networks have their own and separate numbering arrangements to those numbers that are visible and dialled most often, (e.g. geographic, freephone, and mobile numbers) and those data numbers are used to identify the terminal or piece of equipment that can be accessed by equipment directly connected to that data network.

"The ACCC's preliminary view is that competition would be promoted by lowering entry barriers if DNAS number portability was introduced", an ACCC Commissioner, Mr Ed Willett, said today.
"However the ACCC is seeking further information on those consumers, industry participants and potential new entrants that will benefit from DNAS number portability. The ACCC is also seeking information on the estimated cost of implementing DNAS number portability using different technical solutions".

The paper also sets out background material about various other issues on which the ACCC seeks comments from industry participants, other stakeholders (including end users) and the public more generally.

Comments on the paper are sought by 17 December 2004 and should be sent to: Mr Grant Young, Assistant Director, Telecommunications Group, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, GPO Box 520J, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 or by email to: grant.young@accc.gov.au

Release number: 
MR 259/04
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