The telco industry peak body, Communications Alliance, is reviewing the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) Code. The IPND is a secure database that stores all listed and unlisted public numbers assigned to communications services. These include numbers assigned to a telephone, fax machine, or connected device like a tablet or car that can make and receive calls via Bluetooth. The IPND includes information about the service, including the name of the customer, the telco that provides the number, and the where the ‘service address’ is (that is, the street address where the customer lives or where telephone service is located).

The IPND Code sets out rules for telcos that supply information to the IPND, and for anyone that uses information from the IPND. In a 2018 review of the IPND, the ACMA found that a large portion of information was inaccurate. The IPND Code is being updated to make sure that telcos frequently compare their customer information with information in the IPND, and correct any discrepancies that are discovered.

It is important that consumer information stored in the IPND accurate and secure. Emergency services use the IPND, as well as a range of other information, to locate people calling for assistance. The IPND is also used by law enforcement, and for specific research purposes approved by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

In our submission to Communications Alliance we support changes aimed at improving the accuracy of data in the IPND. We also support changes to the definitions of key terms in the Code, to make them clearer.
Our submission highlighted that the draft IPND Code does not address the need for telcos to check monthly reports about connected and disconnected telephone services. It also did not incorporate various other proposed operational improvements, identified by the ACMA. We recommended a number of editorial changes to improve readability of the Code.

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