In understanding commonalities between minority groups in relation to access and affordability, the paper argues that these can no longer be considered ‘minority’ issues as they affect a significant proportion of the Australian population. Rather, affordability needs to be framed as part of a wider discussion about access and accessibility. Furthermore, notions of access and accessibility should be emphasised and clearly distinguished from mere availability.
The USO ensures access to voice communication services for all Australians. The obligation has changed very little in comparison to the telecommunications market and consumers’ use of services. This presents a number of gaps and risks for consumers, such as data and mobile services. However, updating the obligation to include these services alone will likely fail consumers. This paper argues for a new framework based on a principle of contactability. This new framework will have four key areas: availability, affordability, accessibility and service standards. A further two areas; online service delivery and literacy and empowerment, are also needed to fully ensure contactability is achieved.
Reports on the use of mobile phones and the internet in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia. It reinforces the need for more research into barriers to phone and internet usage by Aboriginal and Torres Strait people in remote areas, as well as the importance of informing remote community members of their telecommunications rights.
How do older Australians engage with news online? Drawing on a survey of Australians aged 41-84, this exploratory study examines the preferences of participants in news engagement, the role of presentation and distribution of online news in engagement and perceived barriers to accessing news online and on mobile devices.
The September issue provides an interesting look at the National Broadband Network: and how it is perceived to have problems that need to be resolved; how telecommunications is having an effect on the lives of Australians, with discussion on how older Australians engage with online news; and how mobile phone use in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is a balance between opportunity and affordability. Papers on future digital service delivery and metadata retention provide a balance between identifying future use and how authorities are looking our telecommunications usage.
The 1 in 4 Poll project seeks to increase understanding of the views and needs of people with a disability by developing an accessible survey method. It is being conducted by Deakin University in partnership with the Victorian disability service provider, Scope. The poll method has focused on three key strategies: an accessible Internet-based survey; use of an assisted and proxy report; and a ‘standard’ and Easy English version of the survey.
Subtitles are text versions of the speech content of television and other audiovisual media. The paper discusses the results of a survey of deaf people in Poland and the UK on their experiences of, attitudes to and requirements for subtitles, including for the representation of emotions and contextual features.