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Democrats move amendments for Internet and ISPs: amendments to prevent carriers from charging ISPs [Internet Service Providers]

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja

Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats

Information Technology Spokesperson

11 July 1998




Amendments to prevent carriers from charging ISPs


Cost of acces s to the Internet is a major bonier to taking up the great potential of the Internet in Australia, the Australian Democrats’ Information Technology Spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, said today.


The Australian Democrats are moving amendments to the Telstra Bill today which will exclude B-party charging of Internet Service Providers (or ISPs). This would be a defacto timed call charge. B-party charging is the charge levied by the telecommunications carrier on the ISPs for receiving calls to connect to the Internet. The amendments will prevent carriers from charging the receiver of a telephone call where the receiver is the provider of an Internet service and were the call is for the purpose of connecting to the Internet.


“The take up of the Internet in Australia is significant and will soon be essential to every house hold, just like a telephone is today. This means we have to make sure there are no barriers to access and cost is one of the main barriers.


“B-party charging would allow telecommunications carriers to charge the providers of Internet access and this is a cost which would be passed on to consumers.


“The Democrats believe the Internet should remain affordable to all.


“Even the Government has decided to provide its information and services on line - it now has a responsibility to make sure this information and these services are accessible.


“The on-line economy is expanding and cost of access is a barrier which we can overcome through legislative protections,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.


For comment, contact Senator Stott Despoja on (02) 6277 3645 or 0418 812 589