Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Telecommunications Amendment (Prohibition of B-Party Charging of Internet Service Providers) Bill 1997 [1998]

Bill home page  


Download WordDownload Word


Download PDFDownload PDF

 

 

 

1996-97

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT (PROHIBITION OF B-PARTY CHARGING OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS) BILL 1997

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(circulated by authority of Senator Allison)



Telecommunications Amendment (Prohibition of B-Party Charging of Internet Service Providers) Bill 1997

 

 

Outline

 

Access to the Internet is of fundamental importance for consumers in the new communications environment. Currently, this access is often achieved by way of an untimed local call.

 

The Telecommunications Act 1997 guarantees the ongoing provision of untimed data calls for eligible customers, that is residential customers and charitable bodies or welfare organisations. 

 

The Telecommunications Act 1997 does not, however, guarantee such calls for other customers.  This means it paves the way for all customers, including residential customers and charitable bodies or welfare organisations, being indirectly charged on a timed basis for accessing the Internet.

 

This can occur if carriage service providers charge Internet Service Providers a separate, timed levy for receiving a call (known as B-Party charging) for the purposes of connecting to the Internet.  Internet Service Providers are then likely to be forced to pass this additional cost on to their customers, through increased fees.

 

The purpose of this bill is to preserve the status quo by preventing carriers from charging the receiver of a telephone call where the receiver is the provider of an Internet service and where the call is for the purpose of connecting to the Internet. This practice, known as B-party charging, is prohibited by this bill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes on clauses and schedules

 

Clauses 1 and 2

 

The clauses provide for the short title and commencement date of the bill.

 

Clause 3

 

This clause provides that the Telecommunications Act 1997 is amended as specified in the schedule to the Bill.

 

Schedule 1

 

This schedule amends the Telecommunications Act 1997 .

 

Item 1

 

Item 1 of Schedule 1 inserts a definition of B-party charging in section 7.

 

Item 2

 

Item 2 amends section 63 to require the inclusion of the prohibition of B-party charging, for the purpose of connecting to the Internet, in any instrument setting out the conditions under which carriers may be granted licences.

 

Item 3

 

Item 3 amends section 63 to prevent the variation of such an instrument by removal of the B-party charging prohibition. This means that any proposal to vary the prohibition would need to be approved directly by the Parliament.