Software error sees Aussie Broadband fined $213,000 for IPND violation

Phil Britt (Australian Broadband)

Credit: Aussie Broadband

Errors in its reporting software landed Aussie Broadband a $213,120 fine after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found it failed to load customer information into the database Integrated Public Number Data (IPND), in violation of ACMA rules.

An ACMA investigation found that Aussie Broadband failed to provide customer information to the IPND on more than 30,000 occasions between November 2021 and May 2022.

The IPND is used by Triple Zero to help locate people in emergencies, for emergency alert service to warn of floods or bushfires, and to assist law enforcement activities.

ACMA chairwoman Nerida O’Loughlin said Aussie Broadband’s inability to upload customer information to the secure database was unacceptable and could potentially put its customers’ safety at risk if emergency.

“While we are not aware that anyone was harmed as a result of the breaches, it is alarming that Aussie Broadband has not put in place effective processes to identify that its customer information has not been provided for more than six months,” O’Loughlin said.

“Although the breaches should not have happened, we are pleased to see that Aussie Broadband acted quickly to upload the missing data once it came to its attention and took steps to address it. conform to the future.”

As a result of the ACMA’s investigation, Aussie Broadband discovered and corrected errors in its reporting software, which were identified as the root cause of the breach.

In a statement, Aussie Broadband said it had procedures in place to ensure compliance with IPND requirements, but no software failures were detected under its normal compliance procedures.

As a result, it has now implemented new redundancy measures, error notifications, independent monitoring and regular audits to ensure compliance.

“We are deeply sorry that this software failure went undetected, which resulted in inaccurate records in the IPND database,” said Aussie Broadband chief executive Phillip Britt. “While we have put in place several checks and balances, these have not gone far enough and I am confident that our new compliance checks will ensure this never happens again.”

Before the ACMA completed its investigation, Aussie Broadband quickly revamped its internal compliance processes to ensure IPND data was updated and reconciled correctly.

Under the Telecommunications Act and the IPND Industry Code, all telecom operators are required to upload their customer details to the IPND for every service they provide.

The ACMA also gave Aussie Broadband a directive requiring continued compliance with data rules or risk further action, including landing in court where it could face penalties of up to $250,000. $ per violation.

Since 2018, the ACMA has taken action against 30 telecom operators for non-compliance with IPND rules, including issuing corrective instructions and nearly $4 million in penalties.

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