Low income earners miss out on Internet access

New Australian survey finds a total of 56.1 per cent of respondents do not access the Internet on their mobile

Low income earners can’t afford an Internet connection, according to research commissioned by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

The survey by Anglicare Victoria found 49.2 per cent of respondents on low incomes can’t afford fixed line Internet at home, with 12.5 per cent of those on dial-up access.

A total of 56.1 per cent do not access the Internet on their mobile, with just 18.2 per cent of respondents with mobile Internet access.

“Too many low income earners are deprived of essential communications services, and while there will be some who choose not to be connected, it is clear from the data that many of the lowest-income Australians are not connected because they can’t afford it,” Teresa Corbin, ACCAN CEO, said in a statement.

“It is time for a serious conversation about whether new low-income measures are required that go beyond existing measures which only help people get a fixed phone line.”

The report also found 66.0 per cent of low income mobile users have difficulty paying their account. Meanwhile, 38.2 per cent said they did not have a fixed phone line because they cannot afford it.

“ACCAN believes any discussion around this issue should consider whether retail service providers are being sufficiently encouraged to implement low-income measures,” ACCAN said.

Tags Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)internetAnglicare Victoria

5 Comments

Gordon Drennan

1

This was the trouble with Labor's NBN. Labor portrayed it as national infrastructure, but it was built and priced to provide a premium product that very large numbers of Australians could afford even less than they could afford ADSL. It would have divided Australians into those who could afford high speed fibre who'd largely use it to download entertainment and those who would be stuck with congested slow low-quota wireless. All the supposed health care and related stuff would have to be built on wireless, because that's all the poor and sick and old would have, while the rich got super high speed provided by a "Labor" government.

klaw

2

@Gordon Drennan: What rubbish! Please do some more research.

Telstra sell a voice-only product (T-Voice) for $23/month. This is a stand-alone product, connected to the NBN Fibre, which does not require internet access. The monthly cost, and the call costs, are exactly the same as Telstra's normal Homeline Budget plan.

Incidentally, $30/month can get you 15Gb of data on NBN Fibre, so it's not as if NBN plans are all vastly expensive and unaffordable to all but the most wealthy.

James D

3

plus what you saved by not paying line rental anymore and just getting a low entry internet plan you then use many of the free or low cost Skype like services.

We don't have the NBN, and looks like we will get the ginger haired bucked toothed unwanted love child of Turnbull, but through a large ISP we went Data line only and VOIP, and never looked back, saved us a fortune.

I do not believe there is an issue for low income users, they just need information on what and where to look for services, we get internet and all of our local and national calls included for $39 a month.

john mford

4

James D. Please tell me where? I'm a disabled pensioner paying TELSTRA 79.99 $ per month for 50gig, lousy service, and slow cable speed 12mbps. Telstra and the shareholders have not recovered from the dreadful 'ZIGGY' and never will. Plus I am fed up with Turnbull's crap. Just tell me the truth? Please.

Tom

5

Becasue the NBN was to replace the copper network it brought a halt to ADSL2 DSLAM roll-outs. Why would an ISP invest in a ADLS2 DSLAM if it was to be obsolete in 3-5 years due to NBN fibre ? They didnt work out an interim solution to provide broadband until the NBN arrived.
Cost for NBN, that was modelled on a particular uptake by customers, and with mobile broadband which meets some peoples needs and is included in their phone plans, maybe costs will rise to NBN users if the installed uptake base is less than modelled but NBN has opertional costs and payback loans.

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