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Glossary: ACMA annual consumer survey

The following definitions are based on terminology from the ACMA’s 2022 ACMA annual consumer survey (ACS) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Internet activity report.

Data from the 2022 ACS is published on our website in Power BI format. These glossaries are also available to download on the ACMA’s website.


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. 

Actively engage
Actively engaging includes posting, sharing, commenting or reacting in other ways to the content on a website or app, such as clicking on 'like'. 

An application or program that can be downloaded on to a mobile phone or other device.

An internet connection that enables high-speed use with high-capacity limits and download speeds. Types of connections include NBN, ADSL, cable and satellite.  

Content on an online platform
Video content viewed via online platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and social media. Examples include product reviews, vlogs and comedy/sketch videos but exclude video games.

DAB/DAB+ digital radio
Digital radio broadcasting standard. Like AM/FM radio, digital radio is broadcast free-to-air but uses a digital signal requiring a DAB+ digital radio-enabled device.

Organised, competitive video gaming. Typically played between professional or sponsored gamers in league competitions and tournaments. 

Free-to-air (FTA) TV
Broadcast television services where the signal is delivered without charge to the viewer. Examples include channels 7, 9, 10, ABC, SBS, 9Go! and 7Mate.

Free-to-air catch-up TV and streaming service
Internet service typically provided on free-to-air and subscription broadcasters’ websites that enables users to watch a recent episode of a TV program over the internet for a limited period. Examples include ABC iView, 10 Play and 7Plus for free-to-air programs, and Foxtel Go for subscription broadcasters.

Fixed-line phone at home 
Landline telephone service at home used to make voice calls.  

Games consoles
Specialised device used to play video games. Examples include PlayStation, Xbox and Wii.

Household internet access 
A connection to an internet service for your household. Includes voice-only internet.  

Linear TV
Traditional model of TV viewing delivered through cable, satellite or a TV antenna where content is watched as it airs on its original channel at a specific time as scheduled by the broadcaster.

Messaging/calling app 
A communication application used to make voice calls, video calls and/or send messages.  

Mobile broadband 
An internet connection that provides short-range, high data-rate connections between mobile data devices and access points connected to a network. Examples include mobile worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX), 3G/4G accessed through a datacard, USB modem and tablet SIM card (excluding a mobile handset).  

Mobile services
Includes prepaid mobile, postpaid mobile, mobile broadband, machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and home wireless broadband services.  

Mobile texting  
Sending a short text message (SMS) using a mobile phone. 

NBN – National Broadband Network  
The national wholesale-only open access data network in Australia offering high-speed broadband to all Australian premises using a multi-technology mix. 

Non-NBN fixed services 
Fixed internet services provided over digital subscriber line (DSL), cable/hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC), fibre, fixed wireless and satellite network. Excludes voice-only and NBN services.  

Online news aggregator or app
Online platform or software device that collects news stories and other information as it is published and organises it in in a specific manner usually in one location for easy viewing.

Television service in which viewers are required to pay a fee to rent or buy a movie or TV show. Examples include AppleTV, Google Play and OzFlix.

Digital audio content files made available for download or streaming via the internet.

Postpaid mobile 
Mobile telephone service where a user pays a monthly charge (or a charge based on a time period). Includes a payment for a handset, access, subscription and some call usage.  

Prepaid mobile 
Mobile telephone service where a user is not billed regularly. Instead, they pay upfront for their handset, network access and call, messaging and data charges.  

Satisfaction with communication services  
A measure of how satisfied or dissatisfied consumers report to be with aspects of their communication services. A rating is given to express their level of satisfaction on a scale from 1 (dissatisfied) to 5 (satisfied). 

Smart device 
Appliance or gadget that can be connected to the internet. Excludes computers, tablets and mobile phones.  

Smart TV 
Internet-enabled TV set with built-in apps. It doesn’t need a separate device such as a set-top box or games console to go online.

Social media website/app
Websites and applications that enable users to create, share and consume content online and enable people to communicate and participate in social networking.      

Subscription TV
Service providing access, for a fee, to television channels transmitted using cable, satellite or terrestrial microwave. Examples include Fetch TV and Foxtel.

TB – terabyte 
A measure of data download volume. A data unit of 1,000 billion bytes, sometimes interpreted as 1,024 gigabytes. 

User-generated content or short-form online video service
Videos typically under 10 minutes in length that are created and shared by users on online platforms. Examples include YouTube, TikTok and Instagram Reels.


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