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New trial shows filtering works

04 October, 2009
By Allison Orr

While the official report is still weeks away, early results from a pilot trial of live ISP-level content filtering shows that there is no negative impact on network performance.

The trial, which concluded last month, was conducted by Enex TestLab and included Optus, Primus, Unwired and others, involving thousands of Internet users.   For users in the trial, the ISPs filtered every webpage on the ACMA blacklist that contains illegal and prohibited content.  The results have been submitted to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and apparently show that filtering does work without any major degradation to network speed. 

This trial forms part of the government’s feasibility study for their plans to introduce ISP-level filtering, providing a “clean feed” to homes.  The plan has received much criticism, especially from within the industry, over the plan’s mandatory nature.  In addition, peer-to-peer traffic, the source of much questionable content and online behavior, is not covered in this type of filtering.

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