ACMA looks deep into Soul

Soul Communications Pty Ltd is gets wrist slap for failing to provide information to the Emergency Call Service

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Soul Communications Pty Ltd (Soul) after the telco breached the Telecommunications Act 1997 by failing to provide information to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) Manager.

On 26 October 2008, one of Soul's mobile service numbers was used to report a fatal home invasion in Sydney to the Emergency Call Service (ECS). An ACMA-led investigation of Soul revealed that, in this case, the IPND Manager was given an incomplete address by the company, making it difficult to confirm the location of the incident.

ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman said, "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."

A spokesperson from Soul told Computerworld Australia that the submission of an incomplete address was the result of its third party supplied address validation system. As part of its undertaking, Soul will be commencing a full data audit to check its IPND records. The telco will also be upgrading its data-checking processes in a bid to avoid future breaches of the act.

ACMA has been putting a spotlight on the issue of emergency calls from mobile phones and has recently released a proposal to amend the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2009 in order to better provide the ECS with mobile phone location information.

"The integrity of data provided by telecommunications providers to the IPND is a vital matter," ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman said, "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."

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