Telstra has agreed to reduce its complex local number porting charges by almost 50 per cent after an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry.
"The ACCC is delighted with this result, which will remove a substantial impediment to competition between telecommunications carriers and carriage service providers", ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today.
The agreement relates to porting of 'complex' numbers. These are numbers associated with a 'complex service', typically associated with business applications involving blocks of numbers or a smaller range of numbers.
Unlike simple local number portability (LNP), which is predominantly an automated process, the porting of complex numbers requires project management and many manual steps that add substantial additional costs to the porting process.
"Late last year the ACCC received complaints from a number of carriers, carriage service providers and business consumers alleging Telstra was imposing excessive charges for providing complex LNP.
"They claimed this acted as a disincentive for Telstra's customers to change carriers and thereby inhibited competition. They also claimed Telstra's charges breached the ACCC's Pricing Principles for LNP".
Preliminary investigations showed there were grounds for concern and the ACCC raised these concerns with Telstra in late October 2001.
"After lengthy negotiations Telstra has agreed to reduce its charges to a level in line with those levied by other carriers and carriage service providers. This will result in appreciably lower costs for service providers and ultimately for business customers wishing to port their numbers.
"This is a very good outcome for the industry and consumers as a whole. The ACCC acknowledges Telstra's cooperation in this matter".
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