Internet provider Aussie Broadband has been fined more than $200,000 for massive breaches of rules meant to protect the safety of Australians.
It comes after the Australian Communications and Media Authority found that the company failed to provide customer information to the integrated database of public numbers more than 30,000 times between November 2021 and May this year.
The database is used to help locate people in an emergency, for the emergency alert service to warn of situations such as floods and wildfires, and to assist in law enforcement activities.
ACMA President Nerida O’Loughlin said the Aussie Broadband failure was unacceptable and potentially put people at risk in an emergency.
“While we are not aware of anyone being harmed due to the breaches, it is alarming that Aussie Broadband has not put in place effective processes to identify that their customer information was not provided for more than six months,” said Ms. O ‘Loughlin.
“While the breaches should not have occurred, we are pleased to see that Aussie Broadband moved quickly to upload the missing data once it was brought to their attention and took steps to comply in the future.”
The company was ordered to pay a notice of infringement of $213,120.
ACMA also ordered Aussie Broadband to continue to comply or risk further action, including in court, where penalties of up to $250,000 can be applied for non-compliance.
Since 2018, the ACMA has taken action against 30 telecommunications companies for violating the database’s rules, including giving corrective instructions and nearly $4 million in fines.