[LINK] Fears for telephone number system

Paul Brooks pbrooks-link at layer10.com.au
Tue Nov 2 16:45:04 AEDT 2010

On 25/10/2010 4:06 PM, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> <brd>
> Solving one problem nearly always creates other problems.
> cf the battery issue as well as the one described below.
> </brd>
As well as the other comments about VoIP (or rather, V-o-Internet, which is NOT quite 
the same thing), its worth pointing out the original press article was grossly and 
materially incorrect.

> Fears for telephone number system
> Lucy Battersby
> October 23, 2010
> http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/fears-for-telephone-number-system-20101022-16xw8.html
> AUSTRALIA'S telephone numbering system could be thrown into chaos as
> more calls are made on mobile networks and more people use
> internet-based telephone services that do not require geographic
> information to connect a call.
This depends on your point-of-view - emergency services and 000-answering groups 
regard the geographic strictness to be helpful, and any reduction in certainty of 
location of the caller as chaos. For most other people, relaxing the constraints on 
moving your current number to a new location would be a great leap forward.

> The technology changes place more stress on emergency services, which
> receive geographic information from fixed-line calls to triple-O, and
> businesses that send fixed calls to 13-numbers to the nearest shopfront.
This part is true - the triple-zero answering people like strict geographic 
allocation, for good reasons.

> The regulator responsible for the numbering plan, the Australian
> Communications and Media Authority, is expected to start consultations
> in coming weeks to avoid problems and amend the plan.
> Area codes and local identifiers such as 03 for Victoria and 9836 for
> Camberwell are used by the copper telephone network as a map to send
> calls to certain states and exchanges, with the last four digits sending
> the call to a particular port within the exchange.
> But telephone calls made over a fibre broadband connection, known within
> the industry as voice over internet protocol (VOIP), are sent to an
> internet address and not a physical location. This means it is
> technically possible for telephone numbers to be taken from any location
> in Australia to another. It is a similar concept to email, which is sent
> to an internet address, not a geographic location.
> All telephone calls will be sent over the internet when the national
> broadband network is built to replace the copper telephone network.
WRONG. Telephone calls made through the PSTN ports will be carried over IP, but will 
not be sent over the Internet, and won't be portable to different locations any more 
than the current number allocations are. Currently, you order a new service, and you 
get allocated a number associated with the street address of your service. Precisely 
the same thing will happen under the NBN, for NBN-enabled services, which are tied to 
the physical port of the ONT at a particular location. To movee the number to a new 
locatoin requires the cooperation and reprogramming from NBN Co and the ISP, it is not 
controlled by an external customer-owned equipment that can be picked up and moved.

Of course, if you choose to bypass all that and make calls over the Internet, nobody 
can tell where you are when the call is made - just like now. The NBN does nothing to 
change that, the NBN is immaterial.

> While it may be convenient for consumers to keep the same fixed-line
> number permanently, it could create chaos if households with area codes
> are allowed to take their number when moving interstate.
I suspect the journo has generated this story after speaking with someone from the 
triple-zero answering service - chaos is in the eyes of the beholder

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