7 May 2010
ACMA accepts court enforceable undertaking from Soul over failure to provide complete address information for a mobile service
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Soul Communications Pty Ltd (Soul) with a view to further assuring the accuracy of information provided by Soul to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) Manager.
This follows an investigation by the ACMA that found that Soul breached the Telecommunications Act 1997 by failing to provide the IPND Manager with the information reasonably required for a particular mobile service number. The investigation followed a report that a mobile service was used on 26 October 2008 to make several calls to Triple Zero (000) concerning a fatal home invasion in Sydney.
The IPND is a database of public numbers managed by Telstra as a condition of its carrier licence. It is the key data source for emergency service organisations responding to emergency calls, including those from mobile phones, when the caller details and/or the location of the incident need to be confirmed. The information provided by Soul to the IPND Manager in this circumstance did not include the unit number of the service address, in part as result of the fact that the block and unit information was not recognised by Soul’s third party validation tool.
‘The provision of accurate information to the IPND Manager is critically important,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. ‘The lack of accurate information can result in delays in addressing emergency calls or even an inability to respond at all to time-critical emergency situations.
‘When Soul became aware of the data problem with the service address, it upgraded its data-checking processes and undertook a full data audit to check its IPND records. In addition, Soul cooperated fully with the ACMA’s investigation, admitted to the then shortcomings in its systems and has agreed, in an enforceable undertaking, to make further improvements in its systems and processes so as to further assure us of its future compliance,’ Mr Chapman said.
Measures in Soul’s undertaking include periodic full audits of its records, instigation of a comprehensive training and education process for its staff, regular reconciliations between its records and those held in the IPND and comprehensive reporting to the ACMA.
’The ACMA considered that this undertaking commits Soul to taking sustained action to further improve its systems, a view to ensuring that such shortcomings would not happen again. The ACMA has decided to accept this undertaking to give regulatory certainty to these commitments from Soul,’ Mr Chapman said.
‘More generally, the ACMA is putting industry on notice that the integrity of data provided by telecommunications providers to the IPND is a vital matter. The Authority has an IPND compliance program in place, which includes periodic auditing of service address validity for the IPND records. The most recent audit results are expected to be released shortly.’
In addition, the ACMA is currently looking at how additional location information can be provided to emergency service organisations for mobile calls made to Triple Zero and has recently released a discussion paper on this issue.
A copy of the enforceable undertaking from Soul is available on the ACMA website.
Information on the IPND is also available on the ACMA website.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Donald Robertson, Media Manager on (02) 9334 7980, 0418 86 1766 or email@example.com.
The ACMA is Australia’s regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA’s strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia’s public interest. For more information visit www.acma.gov.au