iPrimus, one of the six ISPs chosen by the government to participate in Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's first filtering trial, has said that its trial will begin late April or early May.
The trial, which will run for a period of six weeks, will be opt-in for customers. ISPs have been able to choose their starting dates, according to Andrew Sims, Primus general manager of Marketing & Products, but they must finish the trial by 30 June.
The ISP chose to give its team of up to 30 people time to scope out the trial from an IT and systems perspective, while still having enough buffer at the end to comfortably meet the deadline, Sims told ZDNet.com.au this morning.
The government had specified which filtering products it wanted participants to use, Sims said, but he would not name them. The necessary software and hardware will be arriving at Primus over the next couple of weeks.
Sims was not able to put a dollar figure on the cost of participating, as the company was still working that out. The government would compensate trial participants for the costs of hardware and software, he said. Primus would also attempt to claim out of pocket expenses such as wages for the team working on the project, but he didn't know if that would be approved.
Primus will email all of its internet customers within the next day or two to tell them that it was participating in the trial and again a couple weeks before the trial started to ask people to volunteer.
Ideally, the number of participants should be between five and 10 thousand, Sims said, a figure he did not doubt Primus could meet. "We have a very family-orientated demographic," he said.
Sims urged those who felt strongly about the trial to take part in the pilot. "If they are against it, the best way to voice that opinion is to participate in the trial," he said. "You can't knock it until you trial it."
Conroy said yesterday that this phase of the trial was only involving the "initial six" ISPs, so others who registered their interest such as Optus could follow in a second wave.