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DCITA puts Clear Networks in the clear

Regional satellite Internet provider Clear Networks has passed a quality of service test administered by the government's subsidised broadband scheme.The test -- carried out by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) -- was commissioned due to customers' concerns Clear was not meeting quality requirements for Internet providers involved in the Higher Bandwidth Incentive Scheme (HiBIS).

Regional satellite Internet provider Clear Networks has passed a quality of service test administered by the government's subsidised broadband scheme.

The test -- carried out by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) -- was commissioned due to customers' concerns Clear was not meeting quality requirements for Internet providers involved in the Higher Bandwidth Incentive Scheme (HiBIS).

The Department of Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) -- which administers the scheme -- e-mailed Clear's customers letting them know of the judgement.

"We are hopeful that there will be few customers now experiencing problems with their service speeds," read the e-mail obtained by ZDNet Australia&nbsp.

The department's Web site states it intends to test accredited HiBIS providers regularly for quality of service and speed. The testing service is also available to providers' customers via the site, as are each month's results.

"Providers who fail testing are required to take immediate steps to remedy the situation," the site states.

Clear's marketing director Alistair Cameron said his company -- which resells Optus' satellite Internet solution -- was among the first to be tested by RMIT due to its size.

"We are orders of magnitude larger than any other customer doing two-way satellite on the Optus platform," he said. "As a consequence, if there are any problems with that platform, we inherit the teething problems."

Cameron advised customers still concerned about the quality of his company's product to start judging it from a period of a week ago, when Clear was informed it had passed the RMIT test.

But he also said any customer's individual experience might not reflect the condition of the network as a whole.

"Every customer in our network connects to the satellite from different angles, with different weather, from different distances, he said.

He said the customers who had complained to DCITA about Clear's product were "in percentage terms a very small minority".