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Notice given 7 February 2003

*1155  Senator Harris: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(a) Was the commencement date for Telstra’s changeover from 008 to the 1800 prefix 1 September 1993; and (b) at that time was Optus in fact leasing and/or using floor space in the corner of Telstra’s exchanges for Optus’ own 1800 exchange equipment.

(a) Was the Minister previously aware of the many 1800 prefix systemic faults that affected a substantial number of both Telstra and Optus subscribers’ businesses nationally; and (b) can the Minister advise what the settlement arrangements or terms of settlement were between Optus and Telstra over the 1800 prefix faults in Telstra’s exchanges and computer software that apparently not only caused Telstra’s 1800 network not to be fit for purpose, but also caused Optus’ 1800 network not to be fit for purpose.

(3) Have Telstra or Optus yet notified the subscribers affected by these 008 to 1800 and ten digit number problems of the fact that both Optus’ and Telstra’s 1800 networks were not fit for use, and that, unless their subscriber customers dialled 008 instead of 1800 during the double trunking period of the 2-year changeover period or until fixed, their 1800 customers would not have been able to reach the subscriber’s 1800 number being dialled, despite the fact the subscriber was unaware of the systemic faults and reasons for loss in incoming business.