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Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Bill 1998

Part 8 Provision of emergency call services

   

146   Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Part:

•      The ACA may impose requirements on any or all of the following:

               (a)     carriers;

               (b)     carriage service providers;

               (c)     emergency call persons;

       in relation to emergency call services.

147   Provision of emergency call services

             (1)  The ACA must make a written determination imposing requirements on any or all of the following:

                     (a)  carriers;

                     (b)  carriage service providers;

                     (c)  emergency call persons;

in relation to emergency call services.

             (2)  In making a determination under this section, the ACA must have regard to the following:

                     (a)  the objective that a carriage service provider who supplies a standard telephone service should provide each end-user of that standard telephone service with access, free of charge, to an emergency call service, unless the ACA considers that it would be unreasonable for such access to be provided;

                     (b)  the objective that, if a carriage service provider who supplies a standard telephone service is required to provide each end-user of that standard telephone service with access to an emergency call service operated by a recognised person, the recognised person should:

                              (i)  receive and handle calls made by those end-users to the relevant emergency service number; and

                             (ii)  if appropriate—transfer such calls to an appropriate emergency service organisation; and

                            (iii)  if appropriate—give information in relation to such calls to an appropriate emergency service organisation;

                     (c)  the objective that emergency service organisations should not be charged for services provided by a recognised person who operates an emergency call service, being services by way of:

                              (i)  receiving and handling calls to an emergency service number; or

                             (ii)  transferring such calls to an emergency service organisation; or

                            (iii)  giving information in relation to such calls to an emergency service organisation;

                     (d)  the objective that emergency service organisations should not be charged for the following carriage services:

                              (i)  carriage services used to connect calls made to an emergency service number;

                             (ii)  carriage services used to transfer such calls to an emergency service organisation;

                            (iii)  carriage services used to give information in relation to such calls to an emergency service organisation;

                     (e)  the objective that, as far as practicable, a common system is used to:

                              (i)  transfer calls made to an emergency service number to an emergency service organisation; and

                             (ii)  give information in relation to such calls to an emergency service organisation;

                      (f)  the objective that calls made to an emergency service number are transferred to an appropriate emergency service organisation with the minimum of delay;

                     (g)  the objective that, from the perspective of an ordinary end-user of a standard telephone service, there appears to be a single national emergency call system;

                     (h)  the objective that reasonable community expectations for the handling of calls to emergency service numbers are met;

                      (i)  the objective that carriage services used to make calls to an emergency service number should, as far as practicable, provide the emergency call person concerned with automatic information about:

                              (i)  the location of the caller; and

                             (ii)  the identity of the customer of the service being used by the caller;

                      (j)  the objective that carriers should provide carriage service providers with access to:

                              (i)  controlled carriage services of the carriers; and

                             (ii)  controlled networks of the carriers; and

                            (iii)  controlled facilities of the carriers;

                            in order that the providers can comply with their obligations under the determination;

                     (k)  the objective that carriage service providers should provide other carriage service providers with access to:

                              (i)  controlled carriage services of the first-mentioned providers; and

                             (ii)  controlled networks of the first-mentioned providers; and

                            (iii)  controlled facilities of the first-mentioned providers;

                            in order that the other providers can comply with their obligations under the determination;

                      (l)  the objective that a determination should be consistent with the following:

                              (i)  Principle 11 of the Information Privacy Principles set out in section 14 of the Privacy Act 1988 ;

                             (ii)  codes registered under Part 6 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 ;

                            (iii)  standards determined under Part 6 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 .

             (3)  Subsection (2) does not, by implication, limit the matters to which the ACA may have regard.

             (4)  A determination under this section may deal with ancillary or incidental matters, including the protection of the privacy of information transmitted in connection with a call to an emergency service number.

             (5)  A determination under this section may deal with performance standards, including (but not limited to) performance standards relating to:

                     (a)  the answering of calls to emergency service numbers; and

                     (b)  delays in transferring calls made to an emergency service number to the appropriate emergency service organisation; and

                     (c)  the handling of complaints about emergency call services.

             (6)  Subsections (4) and (5) do not, by implication, limit subsection (1).

             (7)  A determination under this section is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

             (8)  In making a determination under this section, the ACA may apply, adopt or incorporate (with or without modification) any matter contained in a code or standard proposed or approved by a body or association, either:

                     (a)  as in force or existing at a particular time; or

                     (b)  as in force or existing from time to time.

This subsection does not, by implication, limit section 589 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 .

             (9)  Before making a determination under this section, the ACA must consult representatives of each of the following groups:

                     (a)  carriers;

                     (b)  carriage service providers;

                     (c)  recognised persons who operate an emergency call service;

                     (d)  emergency service organisations;

                     (e)  consumers of standard telephone services.

           (10)  A carriage service provider may provide the access referred to in paragraph (2)(a) itself or by arranging with another person for the access to be provided.

           (11)  In this section:

emergency service organisation means:

                     (a)  a police force or service; or

                     (b)  a fire service; or

                     (c)  an ambulance service; or

                     (d)  a service specified in the numbering plan for the purposes of this paragraph; or

                     (e)  a service for despatching a force or service referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d).

148   Compliance with determination

             (1)  A person on whom a requirement is imposed by a determination in force under section 147 must comply with the determination.

             (2)  Subsection (1) has effect subject to sections 149 and 151.

             (3)  A person must not:

                     (a)  aid, abet, counsel or procure a contravention of subsection (1); or

                     (b)  induce, whether by threats or promises or otherwise, a contravention of subsection (1); or

                     (c)  be in any way, directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned in, or party to, a contravention of subsection (1); or

                     (d)  conspire with others to effect a contravention of subsection (1).

             (4)  Subsections (1) and (3) are civil penalty provisions .

Note:          Part 31 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 provides for pecuniary penalties for breaches of civil penalty provisions. This provision is a civil penalty provision for the purposes of that Act.

149   Access to emergency call services

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  an emergency call service is operated by a recognised person; and

                     (b)  a determination under section 147 requires a carriage service provider who supplies a standard telephone service to provide each end-user of that standard telephone service with access to that emergency call service; and

                     (c)  a determination under section 147 requires the recognised person to:

                              (i)  receive and handle calls made by those end-users to the relevant emergency service number; and

                             (ii)  if appropriate—transfer such calls to an appropriate emergency service organisation; and

                            (iii)  if appropriate—give information in relation to such calls to an appropriate emergency service organisation.

             (2)  The recognised person must comply with the requirement mentioned in paragraph (1)(c) on such terms and conditions as are:

                     (a)  agreed between the following parties:

                              (i)  the carriage service provider;

                             (ii)  the recognised person; or

                     (b)  failing agreement, determined by an arbitrator appointed by the parties.

If the parties fail to agree on the appointment of an arbitrator, the ACCC is to be the arbitrator.

             (3)  The regulations may make provision for and in relation to the conduct of an arbitration under this section.

             (4)  The regulations may provide that, for the purposes of a particular arbitration conducted by the ACCC under this section, the ACCC may be constituted by a single member, or a specified number of members, of the ACCC. For each such arbitration, that member or those members are to be nominated in writing by the Chairperson of the ACCC.

             (5)  Subsection (4) does not, by implication, limit subsection (3).

             (6)  A determination made in an arbitration under this section must not be inconsistent with a Ministerial pricing determination in force under section 150.

150   Ministerial pricing determinations

             (1)  The Minister may make a written determination setting out principles dealing with price-related terms and conditions relating to requirements of a kind referred to in subsection 149(1). The determination is to be known as a Ministerial pricing determination .

             (2)  A determination under subsection (1) is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

             (3)  In this section:

price-related terms and conditions means terms and conditions relating to price or a method of ascertaining price.

151   Access to be provided

             (1)  This section applies if a determination under section 147 requires a person to provide access as mentioned in paragraph 147(2)(j) or (k).

             (2)  The person must provide that access in accordance with the requirements set out in the determination and on such terms and conditions as are:

                     (a)  agreed between the following parties:

                              (i)  the person;

                             (ii)  the carriage service provider to whom access is required to be provided; or

                     (b)  failing agreement, determined by an arbitrator appointed by the parties.

If the parties fail to agree on the appointment of an arbitrator, the ACCC is to be the arbitrator.

             (3)  The regulations may make provision for and in relation to the conduct of an arbitration under this section.

             (4)  The regulations may provide that, for the purposes of a particular arbitration conducted by the ACCC under this section, the ACCC may be constituted by a single member, or a specified number of members, of the ACCC. For each such arbitration, that member or those members are to be nominated in writing by the Chairperson of the ACCC.

             (5)  Subsection (4) does not, by implication, limit subsection (3).