The ACMA is reviewing the Telecommunications (Provision of Pre-Selection) Determination 2015 to assess whether it remains fit-for-purpose. The Determination outlines the requirement for telco service providers to allow consumers to use ‘pre-selectable services’. Pre-selection allows consumers with landline phones on the copper network to use one telco service provider for local calls to other landline phones, but another provider for other types of calling, to mobile or international numbers for example.

ACCAN has no objection to the ACMA taking steps to withdraw the Determination, so long as the ACMA is certain there will be minimal impact on residential and small businesses consumers. Should the Determination be withdrawn, any consumers with pre-selectable services activated on their account need to be provided with adequate information and support while transitioned away from these services.

The communications landscape has changed dramatically since the introduction of pre-selection. The Determination has been varied over the years to only apply to landline phone services over the copper network. Factors like the NBN roll-out, the popularity of over-the-top messaging and calling apps, and changes in how voice plans are bundled and billed, mean that pre-selection is less popular with today’s residential and small business consumers.

While various developments in the communications market have reduced consumer demand for pre-selectable services, ACCAN argued that further investigation must be done to understand the true impact of revoking or changing the Determination.

Should the ACMA take steps to withdraw the Determination, it must ensure that any arrangements designed to transition consumers away from pre-selectable services:

  • impose no additional costs on consumers and small businesses,
  • meet consumer needs, and
  • provide an equivalent service.

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