Orion Satellite Systems wins exemption from number portability

Granted until August 2008

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has granted Orion Satellite Systems Pty Ltd an exemption from the requirement of providing local number portability.

While portability improves opportunities for competition, ACMA chairman Chris Chapman, said there are some circumstances where it may not be practical for a new carrier or carriage service provider to provide portability.

'Orion's local number service is one such case because its interconnection arrangements cannot currently accommodate the porting of single numbers.," he said.

The exemption has been granted until August 23, 2008.

To ensure that the impact on customers is minimised and that long-term support for portability is provided, the exemption was granted subject to a number of conditions.

For example, Orion must make it clear to existing and new customers that local number portability is not available until the conclusion of this exemption.

Chapman said ACMA staff will work closely with Orion to ensure this condition is adequately satisfied.

"Orion must provide progress reports to the ACMA regarding the introduction of full local number portability functionality after six and nine months of the exemption period," he said.

Number portability refers to the right of a customer to change the carriage service provider or the carrier network involved in providing a service, or both, and retain the same number. Number portability has been implemented on local, freephone, local rate and mobile numbers.

It was introduced in May 1998.

Orion applied for an exemption after advising that it does not have the technical ability to provide local number portability.

Basically its interconnection arrangements with its service provider means that he porting of a single local number within a number block of 100 is infeasible.

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