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Telstra/SPAN agree to work together to improve processes



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JOINT TELSTRA/SPAN MEDIA RELEASE

5 February 1998 Ref; 50/98

Telstra/SPAN agree to work together to improve p r o c e sse s

Telstra.and SPAN1, representatives met earlier this week with Communications Minister, Senator Richard Alston, and his staff to discuss ways in which Telstra and service providers could more efficiently manage inter-company billing and related processes in the fully competitive environment which has been operating since July last year.

The discussions focused on a confidential report by consultants commissioned by the Minister last year to examine operational issues between Telstra and service providers.

The meeting agreed a range of matters, including the establishment of joint Telstra/SPAN working groups to study issues such as on-line access to information and ordering, billing and customer transfer processes, Other Telstra/SPAN groups working under the umbrella of the Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) will examine and make recommendations on standards and industry codes covering these activities.

It was also agreed there could be benefits from introducing service provider accreditation, and SPAN agreed to investigate the feasibility of administering such a scheme,

Telstra’s Group Managing Director Carrier Services, Mr Doug Campbell, said the discussions were forward-looking, with a focus on identifying areas for improvement.

“For our part, we have acknowledged the need for better communication between industry participants. We are committed to continue working with SPAN and the industry to deliver high-quality outcomes,” he explained.

“It is now up to the industry participants - carriers and service providers alike -- to cooperatively engage in reinforcing a vibrant market which delivers benefits to consumers. This will be best achieved through direct relations between carriers and service providers, with the assistance of ACIF.”

SPAN Chairman, Mr Brian Perkins, said the consultants’ report highlighted areas of concern to Telstra and service providers which needed to be addressed. He added that all parties involved in the discussions had taken these matters on board and agreed to address them cooperatively and expeditiously.

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“This report has provided a wide range of reference points and will serve as a valuable guide in the development of a robust industry structure that will help to further improve business relationships between carriers and service providers. Ultimately, this will deliver greater benefits to customers and that has been an objective which has driven these discussions.

“What we achieved in these discussions will not provide a solution to all issues, but it is a firm basis for moving forward as quickly as possible,” Mr Perkins said.

*Service Providers Industry Association

Further information: Steve Wright Telstra Corporate Affairs, Carrier Services Group. Ph (02) 9206 0087. ‘

Brian Perkins Chairman, SPAN. Ph (02) 9377 7121.