Data Retention Fiasco Looms:Telecoms Industry ‘Left In Dark’
The survey of 63 survey providers was carried out by the Communications Alliance, a body which claims to represent most sections of the telecoms industry. Among other things it found that:
More than two thirds of providers are not confident they understand exactly what is required of them. Only 16pc said they were ready to retain and encrypt the data.
Some 81pc have lodged a data retention implementation plan or indicated that they will still do so, but only 10pc of those had been approved;
Around 58pc of providers estimate that their one-off set-up costs to comply with the regime will be between $10,000 and $250,000; another 24pc estimated more than $250,000. Of those, 12pc said it would be above $1 million – while 5 percent indicated ranges well above $10 million; and
Some 61pc had lodged an application for exemption/variation or had indicated that they will still do so. But only 5pc of those had been approved.
Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said the results highlighted the magnitude of the challenge ahead for all stakeholders.
“It is no surprise that many service providers won’t be compliant when the legislation comes into force – many of these because they are still waiting to hear from Government as to whether their implementation plans have been approved,” he said.
“All providers are still waiting to hear from Government as to how it will apportion the $131.3 million that has been pledged in assistance to partially meet the set-up costs that service providers – and ultimately their customers – are facing as a result of the regime.”
Comms editor Stuart Corner comments: “The Communications Alliance gives no indication as to what percentage of customers all those companies struggling to comply represent. The reality is that the handful that account for probably well over 90 percent of all telecoms customers will probably be compliant – but dozens of very small ones won’t.”