ACA assesses '000' access

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The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) are looking at ways to clarify the obligations of carriage service providers in providing access to '000'.

Dr Bob Horton, acting chairman at the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) said the changes were designed to remove confusion.

The ACA has proposed amending the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2002, in order to clarify the obligations of carriage service providers (CSPs) in providing access to '000', according to a statement.

"At the same time they support current practices designed to improve the efficiency of the emergency call service," Horton said.

Among the proposed amendments are changes which the ACA believes would support the "emerging area of VoIP services".

"This particular change will assist in the introduction of VoIP services by clarifying the emergency access obligations on providers," Horton said.

According to Horton, the amendments clarify that CSPs aren't required to provide access to emergency service when the access is affected by something beyond their control, such as mains power outage.

"There is a view that VoIP phones are unique because they must be connected to mains power to work," Horton said. "However, cordless phones, PABX and key systems also require mains power. If the power goes off these devices suffer the same fate."

The proposed changes also include procedures about calls to emergency services from satellite phones.

Public comment on the proposed amendments are being sought, and close mid August.

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