Small businesses need help choosing an ISP: ACA

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Evaluating different offers from ISPs was the number one problem for small businesses trying to decide which choice to opt for, according to a survey conducted by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).

The survey found that small business owners were overwhelmed by both the choices and the volume of information.

Dr Bob Horton, acting chairman at the ACA, said other issues the research found included the unavailability of broadband, drop-outs and slow download data rates on dial-up internet services, and also spam.

According to a statement from the ACA, the organisation spoke with more than 500 small business owners during the first half of this year. This included research about their information needs and expectations as consumers of teleco services and products.

The survey was carried out in two stages. Face-to-face interviews were held with 68 small business owners, after which the ACA carried out 450 telephone interviews.

Horton said that the ACA would also be talking with ISPs and small business representative organisations about measures to "better inform small business of the information and assistance available to them".

He said that the ACA's ISP Guideline already provided assistance to small businesses trying to choose an ISP.

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