The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued new rules for Internet service providers (ISPs) that will require them to periodically hand over to the ACCC a range of data relating to services on their networks.
The new Internet Activity Record-Keeping and Reporting Rules were issued yesterday. The ACCC in May revealed that it intended to survey Australian Internet usage, following a decision by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to end its periodic Internet Activity report.
In October the ABS issued its final report, which revealed that in the three months ended 30 June Australian Internet users consumed 4.08 exabytes of data.
Initially at least the ACCC intends for its new series of reports to be based on data from Aussie Broadband, Australian Private Networks (operator of Activ8me), Vocus subsidiaries Dodo and Primus Telecommunications, Harbour ISP Pty Ltd, TPG and its subsidiary iiNet, IPStar, MyRepublic, Optus, SkyMesh, Telstra, and Vodafone.
During an ACCC consultation, NBN Co had pushed for all retail service providers (RSPs) to be covered by the new rules. The rules include a provision for the ACCC to incorporate additional telcos.
Much of the data gathered from telcos is similar to that previously published by the ABS, covering data usage and services in operation for NBN and non-NBN fixed line services, as well as mobile and fixed wireless services. However, it will also include a breakdown of NBN services by wholesale speed tier — that data wasn’t included in the ABS reports, though some similar information is included in the ACCC’s quarterly snapshot of the NBN wholesale market, which is based on information sourced from NBN Co.
The ACCC report will also include additional information on mobile services, including a breakdown of prepaid and postpaid services.
The ACCC said that data from the December 2018 reporting period is expected to be published in late April next year.
The commission said it believes its data will be used by a range of other entities including the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Department of Communications the Arts and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The ACCC also produces a regular Measuring Broadband Australia report. The report is based on performance data gathered by UK company SamKnows. It uses hardware probes installed in volunteer households to assess performance of services from retail service providers from the perspective of end users.