Government Reveals Data Retention Grants Details: Telstra Receives $39.9 M
The recipients of the federal government’s data retention grants, assisting industry with the upfront costs of implementing the mandatory data retention regime, have today been revealed, with Telstra receiving a $39.9 million grant.
The $128.4 million program also sees Vodafone Hutchison Australia receiving a $28.8 million grant and Singtel Optus a $14.8 million grant.
In all, 180 service providers will receive support under the program.
“Most providers will receive a grant of 80 per cent of their implementation costs,” Attorney-General George Brandis today advised via a media release. “All eligible small and medium businesses will receive a minimum government contribution of 80 per cent towards their implementation costs.
“Service providers will receive 50 per cent of their grant immediately upon signing a funding agreement. This will help businesses on their path to compliance. The remaining 50 per cent will be paid upon the completion of reporting requirements.”
Data retention requires telecommunications companies to retain and secure certain metadata for a period of two years.
The Communications Alliance, meanwhile, has today urged the government “to exercise regulatory restraint in the event that some telecommunications service providers are unable to fully comply with the mandatory two-year data retention regime by the time of the April 2017 deadline”.
“The government appears to have done a reasonable job of apportioning the limited funds available, particularly among smaller providers, although some of the larger players face heavy unfunded expenses to meet their compliance requirements,” Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton commented.
“But the lengthy delay in finalising the grants process has put many services providers under immense pressure to complete, on time, the work to enable them to comply with this regime. The government should acknowledge that these delays have made compliance more difficult to achieve within the prescribed time-frame.
“The Attorney-General should publicly commit that no action will be taken, come April next year, against any service provider that is genuinely working to comply with the regime, but has been disadvantaged by the slow pace of decision-making.”