The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has warned 15 telecommunication providers for not complying with laws that support emergency services.
Following ACMA investigations, the telcos were issued formal warnings for failing to provide data, or providing inaccurate data, to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND).
Required under the Telecommunications Integrated Public Number Database Scheme 2017, telcos have to provide contact numbers and customer details to the database for emergency services, such as Triple Zero and the Emergency Alert System, and currently holds approximately 72 million numbers.
Following ACMA investigations, the telcos found to be breaching the IPND rules were:
- Business Service Brokers, trading as TeleChoice
- DIDWW Ireland
- Dodo Services
- Swift Networks Group
- TPC Consolidated
- TravelSIM Australia
- Twilio Australia
Additionally, the cases of non-compliance by Business Service Brokers, Fuzenet, Kisa, Swift Networks Group and TravelSIM Australia were found to be significant enough to require independent audits and the implementation of additional compliance measures.
If these telcos don’t act on ACMA’s directions, they could face fines up to $10 million.
“The IPND is used by emergency services across Australia, including for the Emergency Alert system that keeps people informed in a crisis," ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.
“The Emergency Alert system has been used extensively by emergency services over recent months to send a large number of SMS and make phones calls during the recent bushfires.
“While we’re not aware of any specific harm caused as a result of these breaches, it’s important that all telcos meet their obligations to provide accurate and timely information to the IPND.”
She added that compliance issues with IPND rules have been a particular target of ACMA, with the authority targeting 11 telcos in 2019, including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Australia.
“Last year we took strong enforcement action for similar breaches across the major players in the industry. It is simply unacceptable for telcos to not comply with these rules,” O’Loughlin said.