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Wednesday, 13 May 1981
Page: 2368

(Question No. 555)

Mr Beazley asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 24 February 1981:

(1) Have 4,000 Western Australians opted out of the STD system in their telephone service?

(2) How many Western Australian subscribers have to this point requested to opt out of the international subscribers dialling service?

(3) In view of the fact that many of those who opt out of both services do so to avoid the consequences of being confronted with large bills resulting from their own excess use or the use made by others of their phones, will he waive the $3 disconnection charge and treat future requests as part of Telecom's normal service.

Mr Sinclair —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) There are some 400,000 subscribers in Western Australia connected to automatic exchanges from which STD is available. While precise figures are not kept, around 12,000 have elected to have their services barred from STD. There is a charge of $3 per annum involved.

(2) Telecom Australia provides the international subscribers dialling service only to those subscribers who apply to be connected to such a service.

(3) Advances in technology are enabling Telecom to introduce a system known as Call Charge Record (CCR) which will automatically record details of subscriber dialled international calls. That is, Telecom will be in a position to provide customers with the same degree of accountability on ISD calls that is currently provided with operator connected trunk or international calls. In other words, Telecom is automating an already existing facility.

Should any subscriber wish to take less than full advantage of the telephone service, there is a standard fee of $3 per annum which will ensure that access from the service is restricted in a prescribed way. The provision of access barring facilities involves clerical costs in processing the application, the equipment installation itself and continuing maintenance checks to ensure the correct operation of the facility. Telecom advises that the fee of $3 per annum does not cover these costs.