The IPND is an industry-wide database containing all listed and unlisted public telephone numbers. It was established in 1998 and is managed by Telstra under the Carrier Licence Conditions (Telstra Corporation Limited) Declaration 1997. It is a critical source of information for emergency services and law enforcement and national security agencies.
Requirements on CSPs to provide data
Part 4 of Schedule 2 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 sets out service provider rules in relation to the IPND. Under these rules, carriage service providers (CSPs) that supply a carriage service to an end-user of a public number must provide the public number and the associated customer data to the IPND Manager.
CSPs are also obliged to comply with the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2009 and the IPND Code. This includes ensuring the information given to the IPND Manager is at all times accurate.
What is in the IPND?
Telstra’s Carrier Licence Conditions and the IPND Code require that the IPND contain certain information in relation to each public number of a customer of each CSP, including:
- the public number
- the name of the customer
- the name of the CSP
- the service address of the customer
- an alternate address flag to indicate that a service may not be at the customer’s service address recorded in the IPND (for example, this can apply to calls made from a local service connected to a PABX, or when using nomadic services such as VoIP)
- if the alternate address flag is set to ‘True’, a contact name and number for the customer
- whether the service is unlisted or listed
- for listed services, the name and address of the customer to appear in public number directories
- whether the telephone service is to be used for government, business, charitable or private purposes, if practicable
- the type of service (for example, fixed, mobile, payphone or premium services).
How can I access or correct my record?
Under the Privacy Act to and the IPND Code, customers can access their customer data in the IPND, and have it corrected if need be.
CSPs are required to:
- take certain steps before supplying the data, including verifying the customer’s request and identity
- supply the data within 20 business days of the customer’s request.
Where a customer’s IPND record is inaccurate, the CSP must correct the data. This is subject to CSPs checking that the requested changes comply with their regulatory obligations - for example, the CSP should cross-check a customer request to change the spelling of a name against a form of identification.
CSPs cannot charge a customer for correcting inaccurate customer data.
The ACMA’s compliance and enforcement role
The ACMA is responsible for monitoring and enforcing CSP compliance with the obligations to provide accurate and timely customer information to the IPND. A key aim of the IPND compliance program is to improve the quality of data in the IPND. This is important because the harms that can result from inaccurate data in the IPND can be serious. These include:
delays in emergency response times
hindering the operation of telephone-based emergency warning systems
impairing or compromising efficient lines of investigations by law enforcement and national security agencies
publication of unlisted numbers.