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Australia’s reliance on the internet and communication services grew significantly for the six months to June 2020, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) 2020 annual consumer survey has revealed.

It showed that 99% of Australians accessed the internet, an increase from 90% of Australians who accessed the internet during the same period last year.

The survey suggested the increase in online activities was likely driven by the COVID-19 restrictions that were introduced in March 2020, given that there were no significant changes from 2018 to 2019.

Emailing, web browsing, banking, and watching videos remained the most popular online activities during the six months.

Read: Long-term remote work is leading to a global drop in productivity (TechRepublic)

Also, for the first time, the ACMA survey showed the participation rates of users going online for accessing news, posting and engaging with content, video conferencing and calling, working from home, telehealth consultations,

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has approved a number of trials of GPS repeating within road tunnels in Sydney and Melbourne.

ACMA said on Monday it was initially working with emergency services on the trials, which could result in a licensing arrangement for the devices.

Currently, the retransmission of a radionavigation-satellite service, which includes GPS, is currently forbidden by the Radiocommunications Act 1992 since it could interfere with signals. ACMA is in the midst of conducting a review of the ban.

“Should the trials be successful and the devices licenced for long-term use, the transport sector and general community would also benefit from enhanced in-tunnel navigation capability — including more accurate estimated times of arrival, and earlier warnings about in-tunnel congestion and lane changes,” ACMA said.

“The ACMA is also willing to consider applications from other transport authorities that are interested in trialling GPS repeaters in road tunnels.”

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