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Landline numbers in Austria: how companies remain legally compliant

19. Oktober 2017
3 min. Lesezeit
Markus Scherer

Markus Scherer

Leitung Solutions & Development bei yuutel

Your company probably has one or more geographic landline numbers. In Austria for usage that is compliant with the law, you must be able to show a fixed-location network termination point for each of these telephone numbers. The regulatory authority will be carrying out stricter checks in this regard from 2018: the telephone numbers may be withdrawn in the event of non-compliance!

 

Using specific examples, we explain to you whether your company is affected and what you must do to be legally compliant.

 

Geographic telephone numbers: what does the law say?

Austrian landline numbers, or in technical terms “geographic telephone numbers with a fixed-location network termination point”, will in future be under more intense regulatory scrutiny. The background to this is that Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH (RTR) [Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications] will offer a central telephone number database from 2018.

As part of the roll-out, the existing legislation for the provision of geographic telephone numbers in Austria is being revised (regulated by Sections 49-54 Communications Parameters, Fees and Value-added Services Ordinance 2009 [Kommunikationsparameter-, Entgelt- und Mehrwertdiensteverordnung]).

The key message here is that calls to geographic telephone numbers must be received on a target connection – such as a physical landline telephone – in the location to which the corresponding prefix (area code) belongs.

Example: A call to a telephone number with the area code 0662 must also actually be received in Salzburg, or there must be at least the possibility of doing so.

 

In the telecommunications sector, people talk about termination. In Austria, for the legally compliant termination of a geographic telephone number, a network termination point is required, which can be e.g. a traditional ISDN telephone connection at the respective office location.

As IP-based telephone systems (IPBX) are increasingly used, instead of showing the network termination point, an invoice from an internet provider confirming that your company has an internet connection with a fixed IP address can be used as proof. This excludes mobile routers (e.g. Webcubes) and internet connections with dynamic IP address allocation.

Is my company affected?

You are in compliance with the statutory provisions if the following situation applies to your company:

You have a landline number with a Salzburg area code (0662) AND a place of business in Salzburg AND all calls are received in your office premises in Salzburg.

In this scenario, no action is required. Even if calls are forwarded e.g. to an external call centre or to a mobile telephone, it is still possible to receive the calls in the office premises.

 

How can I comply with the information obligations?

You must provide written proof that the local network connection (area code) belongs to a company located in the corresponding local area.

This is most easily done by providing the following documents to your service operator or network operator that provides the telephone numbers to you:

  • an existing contract or a current invoice for a telephone connection from another operator in the prefix area concernedOR
  • an existing contract or a current invoice for an internet connection with a fixed IP address at an address allocated to the prefix area concerned.

If your service operator or network operator also provides the network termination point, no proof is to be provided. 

By when must proof be provided?

Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH will scrutinise companies for compliance with the statutory provisions for geographic telephone numbers more closely from 2018. In the event of non-compliance, the telephone numbers may be taken away!

Companies should therefore take action in 2017 and provide proof for network termination points and/or internet connections if they have not already done so. If anything is not clear, obtain information from the network operator of your telephone numbers.

When you definitely need to take action: four real-life examples

To make the subject more understandable, we present four specific practical examples – find the situation that applies to you and take appropriate action! 

Example 1:A company with several registered offices

Misunderstandings may arise if the parent and subsidiary companies have different company names or corporate forms. Assume that “Company XY AG” has its main office in Berlin, but there is a subsidiary company “Company XY Regional GmbH” based in Vienna. The invoice for telephone services provided in Vienna is issued to the company’s main office.

What you need to do: In this situation it is sufficient to present the telephone invoice as proof of a network termination point – provided that the address of the subsidiary company and the telephone number are clearly stated on the invoice.

 

Example 2:A foreign company occupies an Austrian leased office with complete infrastructure

Many companies occupy leased offices or co-working spaces to obtain a local address. The landlord normally provides the complete infrastructure, such as internet and telephone services. According to the current legal view, the contract for a network termination point must be linked to the company or an appropriate subsidiary company that also uses the geographic telephone number. Confirmation from the landlord regarding permission to use the existing infrastructure is not sufficient.

What you must do: You can order your own internet or telephone service connection for the leased premises linked to your company, or change your geographic telephone number to an 0800 service phone number, for example.


Example 3:A company without a network termination point in Austria

A company has its headquarters outside of Austria but uses a geographic telephone number in Austria in order to convey a sense of regional proximity. However, from a legal perspective, this is prohibited!

What you must do: Change your geographic telephone number to an 0800 service phone number or, depending on your business processes (Consumer Rights Directive), to another service number.

 

Example 4:A company uses geographic telephone numbers for telephone conferences

Companies that use a geographic telephone number as the dial-in number for telephone conferences where the conference system is operated by a local provider do not need to do anything. This service may continue to be operated without proof of a network termination point or a fixed IP address.

Alternative telephone number options

If proof for a network termination point used by you cannot be provided and you can no longer use your geographic telephone number, there are alternatives such as switching to an 0800 free phone number or, if you are an Austrian company, a location-independent geo-number (0720).

Would you like to know more?

We would be happy to advise you on the various possibilities! We can be reached by phone on 0800 240 40 10 or by e-mail at anfrage@yuutel.at.

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yuutel GmbH
Leonard-Bernstein-Straße 10
1220 Wien – Österreich
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D-A-CH:  0800 240 40 10
International:  +43 1 2145130
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yuutel Logo

yuutel GmbH
Leonard-Bernstein-Straße 10
1220 Wien – Österreich
Anfahrtsplan
anfrage@yuutel.at

D-A-CH:  0800 240 40 10
International:  +43 1 2145130
Webanruf:  jetzt starten