Net filter causes IT industry vote swing

Filter will block legitimate information, create a false sense of security

The mandatory Internet filtering scheme could sway votes against the Rudd Government when the IT industry hits the polling booths at the Federal election.

Results from Whirlpool’s 2009 Australian Broadband Survey of 23,683 verified responses found 92.6 per cent of respondents do not support the Federal Government’s mandatory Internet content filtering scheme, citing concerns that it will block legitimate information, create a false sense that the Internet is safe among parents, and the possibly be abused by future governments.

The survey, run throughout January, found 44.1 per cent of respondents will consider the Internet filter as a key influencing factor in how they vote in the federal election, while 39.2 per cent said it possibly could be, but “not at [the] expense of other issues”.

Whirpool openly admits the respondents are strictly informed users of its broadband website, from students, government bureaucrats, to IT managers, administrators and developers.

Almost half (49 per cent) said they had never found a site that would likely be banned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The government should instead educate parents and children, according to respondents, of whom 84.3 per cent said they already know or could follow instructions about how to circumvent the content filter.

Telstra, Optus panned for prices

Telstra and Optus were criticised by respondents, who said they were customers, for pricing models during the last 12 months. Telstra was reported to have the worst customer service across its cable, DSL and Next G services, with 35.7 and 33.7 per cent of respondents dubbing the latter service “awful” and “below average” respectively.

The average cost of broadband, however, had improved since last year with a 20.9 per cent increase in customer satisfaction for all Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Performance was likewise up 16.1 per cent.

AAPT, TPG and iPrimus were given the nod via improved performance ratings across areas including customer service, pricing, performance and reliability.

Internode was voted most reliable, according to 85.7 of its customers, of which 97.8 percent would recommend them to others. Internode was also reported to have the best quality connection for online games.

Discount ISP, Dodo, let customers down across multiple areas of customer satisfaction according to the report and 84.3 per cent of Virgin customers said they left the telco due to poor network reliability.

Mobile broadband is still not seen as an adequate primary Internet access technology by users who want fast web browsing and downloads in equal share. Almost half (47.9 per cent) of these use the Internet for peer-to-peer file sharing.

Billion was the most popular brand of modem among survey respondents. Cisco modem, on the other hand, were only used by 1.6 per cent of respondents but 77.1 percent of users said they were ‘very satisfied’ with the brand.

About a third (30 per cent) of users have a line synchronisation speed between 5 to 10Mbps, with 18.5 per cent citing speeds around 2 to 5Mbps.

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