Tuesday, 06 September 2022 21:48

Aussie Broadband fined $213K for over 30,000 IPND safety failures Featured

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Internet provider Aussie Broadband has been ordered to pay $213,120 after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found the company failed to provide customer information to the integrated public number database more than 30,000 times between November 2021 and May 2022.

ACMA states Aussie Broadband's failures are a "massive breach of the rules aimed at protecting the safety of Australians."

The IPND is used by the emergency alert service to warn of potentially devastating situations like fire and flood, to help locate people during emergencies, and to assist police activities.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin stated Aussie Broadband’s failure was unacceptable and potentially put people at risk in an emergency. “While we are not aware anyone was harmed due to the breaches, it is alarming that Aussie Broadband did not have effective processes in place to identify that its customer information was not being provided for over six months,” she said.

However, O'Loughlin also noted, “While the breaches should not have occurred, we are pleased to see Aussie Broadband moved quickly to upload the missing data once it was brought to its attention and has taken steps to comply in future.”

ACMA further stated it would keep an ongoing eye on Aussie Broadband and that further breaches may incur penalties of up to $250,000 per event.

ACMA has issued nearly $4m in penalties against 30 telcos for similar non-compliance since 2018.

Part four of schedule two of the Telecommunications Act 1997 sets out the rules for telcos, who are compelled to follow the rules in the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2019, the Integrated Public Number Database Code, and the IPND Data Industry Guideline.

ACMA monitors and enforces telco compliance with the rules. Customers can ask their provider to show them their record in the IPND, and telcos must give the customer the record if asked.

ACMA states incorrect information in the database can seriously impact emergency responses and compromise investigations by law enforcement and national security agencies.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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