The Australian government has commenced a grants program to provide up to A$128.4 million ($90.2 million) to assist the telecommunications industry with the upfront costs of meeting their data retention obligations.
The Data Retention Industry Grants Program consists of a single funding round open to operators who have data retention obligations.
The program delivers on the government's commitment to making a financial contribution to service providers' up front data retention costs and includes support for smaller providers.
The government said the implementation of the data retention obligations remains a key priority, stating that metadata is used in nearly every counter-terrorism, counter-espionage and organized and major crime investigation.
Under controversial legislation introduced by the current government, operators will be required to retain limited communications data for two years, and this information can be accessed by a range of law enforcement and regulatory entities.