In the last few months, both the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and CHOICE have embarked on monitoring projects in recognition of the significant issues consumers have been experiencing when selecting and using internet services. There is a critical need for accurate, independent and comparable information on performance. Both projects are currently calling for expressions of interest from potential volunteers.
Many groups were relieved to finally see the ACCC introduce their program, however it has been criticised for the fact that it only covers fixed-line services; this is an issue for rural and regional Australia which typically accesses NBN services either through fixed wireless or the Sky Muster satellite. For this reason, the RRRCC (Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition, of which Cotton Australia is a founding member) has called on the ACCC to expand the program.
The CHOICE program is, however, open to anyone including CHOICE non-members and also those on fixed wireless and satellite. It will check connections and compare against plans and also publish speed results monthly.
Growers and others in the industry may wish to participate in these project(s), depending on their connections:
- For information on the ACCC’s Broadband Performance Monitoring Program, click here (note expressions of interest close 31 Aug)
- For CHOICE’s program, click here
Both programs require bill information inputs from participants and also connecting a monitoring device/meter. The projects state that any information collected will only be used for the purposes of the project and will be kept confidentially and securely. Should individuals have any concerns or further questions about how privacy of information is handled, they should check this directly with the relevant organisation at the links above.