On 23 May 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced that it would be discontinuing its Internet Activity Survey (IAS), with the June 2018 IAS being the final iteration of the survey.
The ABS IAS provides a variety of information about internet activity in Australia. This includes information on subscribers by access technology, subscribers by advertised speed tiers, volumes of data downloaded by access connection and the number of mobile handset subscribers.
Data from the current ABS IAS is widely used by industry, the ACCC and other government agencies such as the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Department of Communications and the Arts (DoCA) and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also utilise IAS data for international comparisons. There are currently no suitable replacement sources of data.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) proposes a new Record Keeping Rule (RKR) to collect internet activity data, called the Internet Activity RKR, given the importance of the data for its monitoring, analysis and reporting functions, and to other organisations. The ACCC also recognises the value of making this information publicly available.
The purpose of this consultation paper is to seek views on the ACCC’s proposed Internet Activity RKR. The ACCC seeks comment from industry participants, other stakeholders and members of the public.