Dr Ian McShane PhD, RMIT University


Viktor Grechyn

PhD Student, RMIT University


Dr Mark Gregory PhD, RMIT University


We invite you to participate in a research project conducted by RMIT University.

Please read this page carefully and be confident that you understand its contents before deciding whether to participate.  If you have any questions about the project, please contact Ian McShane:

Who is involved in this research project? Why is it being conducted?

Why have you been approached?

You have been approached to participate in the study on the basis that you are employed at a local government organisation in a role that we believe is likely to mean you are well-informed about council and other local investment in public Wi-Fi (past, present or future).

What is the project about? What are the questions being addressed?

This project is researching freely available Wi-Fi networks provided by local government authorities and/or community groups in designated public spaces. Recently a number of local authorities and local community groups across Australia have developed Public Wi-Fi networks, either on a permanent or trial basis. We want to research why these government and community organisations have invested in Public Wi-Fi networks, and who uses the networks and how, in order to assess their public value. We also seek to examine established international models of Public Wi-Fi to better understand the impact of long term investment in this form of communication infrastructure.

If I agree to participate, what will I be required to do?

You will be asked to respond to a number of questions regarding the nature of your council’s past, present or anticipated future investment in Public Wi-Fi. You will be asked to identify, where possible, other Public Wi-Fi services available in your local council area. The survey will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. You may save and return to the survey at any time prior to submission.

The survey has an option for you to provide us with your email address, for follow up or clarification purposes. Provision of your email address or contact details is optional.

What are the possible risks or disadvantages?

Participants should be aware that the World Wide Web is an insecure public network that gives rise to the potential risk that a user’s transactions are being viewed, intercepted or modified by third parties or that data which the user downloads may contain computer viruses or other defects.

Participation in the survey will involve no other risks outside your normal day-to-day activities. You will not be asked to provide any information of a personal or sensitive nature.

If you are unduly concerned about your responses to any of the questions or if you find participation in the project distressing, you should contact Dr Ian McShane as soon as convenient. Dr Ian McShane will discuss your concerns with you confidentially and suggest appropriate follow-up, if necessary.

What are the benefits associated with participation?

There is no direct benefit to you in participating in the project. However, your participation will help us understand more about the policy and operational aspects of local Public Wi-Fi provision through this first national study.

What will happen to the information I provide?

We are using an external site, Qualtrics, to create, collect and analyse data collected in a survey format.  If you agree to participate in this survey, the responses you provide to the survey will be stored on a host server that is used by Qualtrics. No personal information will be collected in the survey so none will be stored as data. Once we have completed our data collection and analysis, we will import the data we collect to the RMIT server where it will be stored securely for five (5) years. The data on the Qualtrics host server will then be deleted and expunged.

Your personal identity will be protected by assigning you a code known only to the researchers.

Survey data will be used in conference presentations and publications arising from the research. You will not be personally identified in any publication but referred to using a pseudonym.

Any information that you provide can be disclosed only if (1) it is to protect you or others from harm, (2) a court order is produced, or (3) you provide the researchers with written permission.

What are my rights as a participant?

Participant Consent

By returning the completed survey you are consenting to participate in the research in the terms set out in this document.

Whom should I contact if I have any questions?

In the first instance contact Dr Ian McShane on 03 9925 8236 or email

What other issues should I be aware of before deciding whether to participate?

We have identified no other issues that you should be aware of regarding your participation in the project. We are happy to answer any questions you have about your participation or the project.

Yours sincerely,

Ian McShane, Mark Gregory and Viktor Grechyn


If you have any concerns about your participation in this project, which you do not wish to discuss with the researchers, then you can contact the Ethics Officer, Research Integrity, Governance and Systems, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476V  VIC  3001. Tel: (03) 9925 2251 or email