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Thursday, 25 November 1993
Page: 3830

(Question No. 655)

Senator Alston asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 6 October 1993:

  (1) What information is available from the following Telecom services: (a) 013 services; (b) 0175 services; and (c) any other and what directory assistance services (DAS).

  (2) During the 1992-93 financial year, for week days and for weekends, what was the average: (a) number of calls to DAS which were disconnected prematurely by (i) the operator, and (ii) the caller; (b) number of calls to each DAS, between the hours of: (i) 12.01 a.m and 2.00 a.m., (ii) 2.01 a.m. and 4.00 a.m., (iii) 4.01 a.m. and 6.00 a.m., (iv) 6.01 a.m and 8.00 a.m., (v) 8.01 a.m. and 10.00 a.m, (vi) 10.01 a.m. and 12.00 noon, (vii) 12.01 p.m. and 2.00 p.m., (viii) 2.01 p.m. and 4.00 p.m, (ix) 4.01 p.m. and 6.00 p.m., (x) 6.01 p.m. and 8.00 p.m, (xi) 8.01 p.m. and 10.00 p.m., (xii) 10.01 p.m. and 12 midnight; and (c) number of calls requesting household and business numbers for each of: (i) 013 services, (ii) 0175 services, and (iii) any other and what DAS.

  (3) (a) Are directory assistance operators required to provide a name to the caller on every occasion; if so, are there any, and what, exceptions to this rule; (b) what steps does Telecom take to ensure that operators provide a name to callers; (c) is it possible for Telecom to trace operators who did not provide a name to callers; and (d) what are the sanctions for operators who do not provide a name to callers.

  (4) Has Telecom considered requiring operators to provide to the caller an identification number.

  (5) Are there any, and what, limits placed on the nature and/or extent of information which will be provided in response to a single call to: (a) 013 services; (b) 0175 services; and (c) any other and what DAS.

  (6) Are any, and what, number of, additional staff allocated during any, and what, peak periods for any, and which, DAS.

  (7) (a) How many DAS locations are there; (b) where are each of these located; and (c) what is the: (i) direct, and (ii) distributed, cost to Telecom of providing each DAS.

Senator Collins —The Minister for Communications has provided the following answer, based on advice from Telecom, to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) (a) 013—Telephone numbers for the local White Pages area from which the call is generated.

  (b) 0175—Telephone numbers for areas outside the local White Pages area from which the call is generated.

  (c) 1139—Changed Number Information. If a customer's number has changed, there is a recorded voice announcement instructing the caller to ring 1139 for information on the number they are calling.

0103—International Directory Assistance—Telephone numbers.

  (2) (a), (b) & (c) This information is regarded as Commercial-in-Confidence

  (3) (a) Operators are encouraged to provide a name to callers and most are doing so. However, the Communications Workers Union does not support the mandatory provision of operators' names to callers.

  (b) Supervisors monitor their work areas continuously and encourage the use of names when appropriate.

  (c) No.

  (d) None. See answer to 3(a).

  (4) Yes. However, customer surveys indicated that customers prefer a name to be supplied rather than an identity number. Furthermore, the possible use of incorrect identity numbers by operators would be difficult to police.

  (5) (a) & (b)

  Yes. Up to four listings are provided per call.

  Note that no silent line numbers are released by operators.

  (c) 1139—one listing per call.

  0103—one listing per call.

  (6) This information is regarded as Commercial-in-Confidence.

  (7) (a) 61.






  Broken Hill

















  Wagga Wagga

























  Swan Hill





  Alice Springs


  Mount Gambier

  Murray Bridge

  Port Pirie












  (7) (c) This information is regarded as Commercial-in-Confidence.