The Government’s Internet filtering proposal failed to address clean-feed content in high-speed environments like the National Broadband Network (NBN) and is ultimately doomed, a technical group claims.
This week, Broadband Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced the Federal Government will go ahead with a mandatory ISP-level filtering legislation. The decision came after the Government reviewed results of the Internet filter trial, which was monitored and reported on by Enex Testlab.
In response, technical expert group, SAGE-AU, pointed out the Enex Testlab report showed filter tests were done at 8Mbps and below, despite the criteria for testing being 12Mbps and higher connections. The report also excluded sample sizes and the amount of traffic subjected to filtering.
With the NBN promising speeds of up to 100Mbps and 12Mbps as a minimum standard, SAGE-AU president, Donna Ashelford, claimed the filtering trial was inadequate in demonstrating efficacy of Internet filters and potential speed degradation on the impending network.
“Let’s compare the broadband network with road traffic in random breath testing. If you have a nice slow road, nice big shoulders and with not much traffic, pulling someone in to have a test wouldn’t cause too much drama,” she said. “If you do that on an eight-lane freeway, certainly you will cause more speed impact than on a road that is wide and uncrowded.”
Considering most of the ISP participants in the filter trial were small-scaled companies, Ashelford claimed the sample size was limited and tests results were ineffective in reflecting the impact on the wider broadband network. She called for further trials to be performed before the Government implemented its proposed Internet filtering laws.
“The technology should be tested under real-world speeds and loads that will relate to the NBN,” she said.