Geographic numbers for VoIP get updated regulation

31 Jan 2011

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has amended existing legislation regarding the phone numbers assigned to the country’s internet telephony subscribers, iTnews reports. Under the revised guidelines the Australian Numbering Plan will from tomorrow by amended to allow geographic numbers to be issued to outbound voice-over-IP (VoIP) services. Those operators that offer such services have been directed to advise customers of ‘the implications of choosing out of area geographic numbers’, with the ACMA pointing out that subscribers taking incorrect geographical codes could encounter issues such as being unable to port their number to other providers. Those customers meanwhile who do not wish to be tied to a geographic number can instead be issued with a ‘nomadic’ number starting with the 0550 code. Commenting on the development, acting chairman of the ACMA, Richard Bean, said: ‘The introduction and uptake of new services such as VoIP has challenged the relevance of parts of the Numbering Plan, which dated back to 1997, to meet industry and consumer needs … The implementation of these amendments represents a small but important step in regulatory transition for VoIP and other converged services.’