There has been an overwhelming response to the release of online registration details for the national Do Not Call Register which has paralysed the Web site.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has confirmed that the public overload is creating delays for those trying to access the site at www.donotcall.gov.au
Over 50,000 consumers with Australian fixed line and mobile numbers have already listed their fixed and mobile telephone numbers on the register today.
The very high volume of responses has led to slowness in the system, the ACMA said.
"These issues can be expected in any new online system dealing with a large number of registrations and are being actively addressed by the service provider Service Stream Pty Ltd," a spokesperson said adding that the ACMA is asking the public to be patient during this initial phase and to try again later.
The register becomes fully operational today May 3, 2007 so there is still plenty of time to get on board.
In addition to Web-based registration, people can now register by mail (a form is available from both the ACMA and Do Not Call Register Web sites) and by telephone from May 22, 2007.
Telemarketers will be able to submit their calling lists to the register operator for checking against the register. This process of 'washing' calling lists will help telemarketers comply with the Act and will be available from May 25, 2007.
Under the legislated scheme, it will generally be unlawful to make telemarketing calls to numbers placed on the register from May 31, 2007.
The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, launched the national Do Not Call Register earlier today.
The ACMA is responsible for overseeing the Do Not Call Register, determining the fees telemarketers will be charged for accessing the register and for investigating breaches of the Do Not Call Register legislation. ACMA is also responsible for developing a national standard for minimum levels of conduct by telemarketers and research callers.
The Do Not Call Register enables individuals with Australian fixed line and mobile numbers to list their fixed and mobile telephone numbers on the register and opt out of receiving a wide range of telemarketing calls.
Under the legislated scheme, it will generally be unlawful to make telemarketing calls to numbers placed on the register from the end of this month.
Industry will contribute to the costs of operating and maintaining the Do Not Call Register through the payment of fees for accessing the register.
Annual subscription fees range from $71 (to wash up to 20,000 numbers) to $80,000 (to wash up to 100 million numbers).
There is a subscription type that allows telemarketers to check up to 500 numbers per year at no cost.