Caps, Apps and Other Mobile Traps
This project determined the greatest needs and problems of young mobile phone consumers to enable them to make well-informed choices about mobile phone ownership. A report on major policy issues which included a number of recommendations directed to telecommunications companies as well as to law and policy makers was produced.
A series of factsheets and resources, including an online one-stop-shop of mobile phone information tailored for children and young people were created in order to empower children as mobile phone consumers.
Homeless and Connected
Mobile phones and mobile internet in the lives of families and young people experiencing homelessness
University researcher, Dr Justine Humphry, surveyed and spoke with 95 Australians experiencing homelessness as well as their support workers to examine how homeless Australians use mobile phones and the internet. She found that this group of consumers has a higher rate of mobile phone ownership than Australians in general – 95% compared with 92%.
Perhaps this high ownership rate is no surprise considering that mobile phones are seen as essential for survival and safety, for gaining new skills and for moving out of homelessness.
Hardship Policies in Practice: A comparative study
This report looks at how the telco industry's financial hardship policies measure up when compared to those in other industries – such as water, banking and energy. The research drew on the first-hand experiences of financial counsellors themselves, the expertise of consumer advocates and staff that work in the telco, energy and banking sector hardship teams.
Trying to Connect
Telecommunications access and affordability among people experiencing financial hardship
Anglicare Victoria looked at over 300 of its low-income clients to investigate how they accessed telecommunications and whether they considered these services affordable.
The overwhelming conclusion was that telecommunications are not universally accessible. This is because 49% of those in the survey did not have home internet, and 56% didn't have mobile internet – such as a smartphone or a dongle. Two-thirds of mobile phone users had difficulty paying their phone bills and a similar number of people ran out of credit on their pre-paid mobile service sooner than they expected.
The full report is available on the ACCAN website.