Telcos yet to receive metadata retention funding AFTER A YEAR!

Attorney General's department yet to convene meetings for consultation

Despite having worked on the problem for a year, Australia's government has sent telcos no funding to assist with the cost of metadata retention.

The government promised AU$128 million to the industry (the figure trumpeted by the government was $131 million, but it kept $3 million of that to fund the Attorney-General's Department's administration costs).

But the industry is yet to receive even a single cheque, according to lobby group the Communications Alliance.

That's got the Alliance mad enough to issue a strongly-worded statement on the matter.

That document complains that although Australia is approaching the 2016 budget, “telecommunications providers are no closer to knowing how much they will receive from the Government”, says Alliance CEO John Stanton.

There's also the matter of the industry-government confab that is meant to work on the fine details of how the funds will be allocated: the Departmental Republic of Brandistan hasn't managed to schedule the meeting.

Given the on-again, off-again election campaigning the government's indulging in, Vulture South doesn't expect any paroxysmal burst of activity from Canberra any time soon.

Critics of the metadata retention plan attacked on two fronts: one was the obvious civil liberties and security issues; the other was the cost of retention for smaller telcos, who don't have the rivers of cashflow and deep pockets of the industry's giants. Telcos of all sizes, however, are being forced to meet the same deadlines, leaving smaller carriers out of pocket. ®

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