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ACMA directs telcos to comply with critical customer data rules

People walking through flood waters on a road

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken action against 15 telcos for failing to provide vital information that supports Australia’s emergency services such as Triple Zero and the Emergency Alert system.

This is the latest action in the ACMA’s two-year campaign to improve the accuracy of the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND)—a secure database of phone numbers and associated customer information. The ACMA investigations found the telcos breached the IPND rules by failing to provide customer data, or providing inaccurate data.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the IPND is a critical source of information for emergency services and is used to get urgent information out to the Australian public quickly and reliably.

“The IPND is used by emergency services across Australia, including for the Emergency Alert system that keeps people informed in a crisis.

“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,” said Ms O’Loughlin.

All 15 telcos were issued formal warnings by the ACMA. Due to the larger scale of their non-compliance, Business Service Brokers Pty Ltd, Fuzenet Pty Ltd, Kisa Pty Ltd, Swift Networks Group Ltd and TravelSIM Australia Pty Ltd were also given remedial directions to undertake independent audits and implement effective systems, processes and practices to ensure they comply.

“Industry has been on notice for some time that we take non-compliance with the IPND rules seriously. 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,” said Ms O’Loughlin.

Following the ACMA’s actions in 2019, 11 telcos have recently finalised actions under remedial directions targeted at rectifying large-scale non-compliance. These actions have seen the quality of data supplied to the IPND from these companies significantly improve.

Telcos face penalties of up to $10 million if they fail to comply with the remedial directions.

The 15 telcos found in breach of the rules by the ACMA were:

  • Borwood Ltd
  • Business Service Brokers Pty Ltd t/as TeleChoice
  • Clubtelco Pty Ltd
  • DIDWW Ireland Limited
  • Dodo Services Pty Ltd
  • Fuzenet Pty Ltd
  • Kisa Pty Ltd
  • MyRepublic Pty Ltd
  • NetSIP Pty Ltd
  • Swift Networks Group Limited
  • TPC Consolidated Ltd
  • TravelSIM Australia Pty Ltd
  • TruPhone Pty Ltd
  • Twilio Australia Pty Ltd
  • Vaya Pty Ltd

There are approximately 72 million connected numbers on the IPND.

MR 05/2020

For more information, please contact ACMA Media on 0438 375 776 or media@acma.gov.au.

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