Consumer organisation ACCAN has waged a protracted campaign against such charges, most recently with its 'Number Woman' initiative, launched in May. This followed a joint submission with The Australian Financial Counselling and Credit Reform Association (AFCCRA) and The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) to the ACMA last September.
The ACMA has published its proposal in a paper: 'Numbering: Calls to freephone and local rate numbers'”The way forward'.
The paper says: "Recognising the current importance of mobile telephony and in the absence of further information, the ACMA proposes that the Numbering Plan be varied in such a way that: calls from mobile phones to freephone numbers are free of charge to the calling party, so that 'free' means free [and] calls from mobile phones to local rate numbers are limited to the amount that a consumer would expect to pay for a local call made from a fixed-line phone."
The ACMA proposes a 12 month lead time for the changes to be implemented, noting that the changes will have an impact on a range of commercial arrangements such as the contractual arrangements between mobile service providers and individual subscribers an the arrangements between telco service providers that provide 1800 and 13 numbers and the organisation that use these numbers.
The changes would also impact on the payment arrangements between carriers (organisations that own and operate networks) and carriage service providers (organisations which use the networks to offer services to businesses and consumers).
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