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Press Release -- June 6th, 2023
Source: commpete

ACMA greenlights faster telco switching for Australian organisations

Sydney, 5 June 2023 – Commpete, Australia’s leading alliance for fostering competition in digital communications, has welcomed the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) decision to approve new timeframes for switching phone numbers (porting) between telco providers. In the wake of this decision, the majority of Australian organisations will only need to wait 15 working days, rather than up to five months, to switch providers while retaining phone numbers.

Commpete has long campaigned for this change, particularly after the lack of porting timeframes caused significant delays for organisations wanting to port numbers during the COVID lockdowns in 2020.

Commpete has lauded the new rules as a win for competition and the promotion of consumer interests. “The rules governing the speed of provider switches were established two decades ago and have failed to keep pace with technological advancements, automation, and peoples’ expectations for swift number transitions between providers,” Commpete stated.

“In our members’ observations, there is a lot of uncertainty around how long it will take for a customer to be able to switch and enjoy the benefits from opting for a new provider. In rare cases, porting can take between 120 and 150 days, despite the fact it can be accomplished in 15 working days with regulatory attention and inter-company focus.

“As cost-of-living pressures escalate, consumers and businesses deserve the freedom to choose when to change providers, and have certainty over how long it will take.”

Commpete also stated the move is positive for the smaller providers it represents, as well as challengers as a whole.

“Outdated processes that hinder competition concentrate pricing and service standards in the hands of dominant providers, disadvantaging end-consumers and emerging market entrants,” the association said.

“While transitioning to the rules will require time, Commpete views this as a significant change and a major victory for competition.”

“We extend our appreciation to ACMA for its commitment in collaborating with industry in developing the new rules. We also acknowledge the ongoing involvement and input of the Communications Alliance Working Committee, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).”

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About Commpete

Commpete is Australia’s leading alliance proudly representing non-dominant providers of digital communications for retail and wholesale customers. Commpete provides a united and credible voice on pro-competition policy. Our vision is to encourage an open access regime with equal, timely access to consumers and business. Our goals are to ensure a market framework where strong independent challengers grow to occupy 30% market share and where new entrants can enter and thrive. We believe a diversity of both smaller and larger industry participants will deliver the best flexibility, value and choice for consumers and businesses in Australia.

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