Oz gummint's miserly data retention cash-splash launched

$128 million up for grabs

Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is taking applications from the telco and ISP sectors for grants to help them cope with data retention.

The AU$128 million was promised during 2015, amid a fierce debate over the data retention scheme, with the industry saying the amount falls far short of their likely implementation costs. The $3.98 per customer, per year, ten-year estimate offered last year by Attorney-General George Brandis would take the total rollout of data retention well past $600 million.

To get a piece of the action, providers will need to be already compliant with the legislation, or to have their Data Retention Implementation Plans (DRIPs) in place before applications close in February. Last year, we reported that many providers had sought extensions of up to 18 months to complete their DRIPs.

A weighted score will be used to assess applicants: 25 per cent will be based on business size, favouring providers with revenue below $3 million annually; while the impact of data retention on a provider, the remaining 75 per cent of the score, will be based on number and types of services, number of subscribers, gross annual revenue, and how much storage will be required.

Money will arrive in two tranches: half when the funding agreement is signed, and the other half set by reporting obligations in the funding agreement.

Information about the grants is here. ®

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