Goulburn Face-to-Face Interview Participant Information RMIT_POS_2COL

We invite you to participate in a research project conducted by RMIT University. Please read this sheet carefully and be confident that you understand its contents before deciding whether to participate. If you have any questions about the project, please ask one of the investigators.

Who is involved in this research project? Why is it being conducted?
  • This research is being undertaken by staff members of RMIT University and associated universities named below.
  • The research is being conducted to help local government and communities better understand the impact of investment in public wi-fi networks.
  • The research data will be shared with the Goulburn Mulwaree Council and local not-for-profit community group The Goulburn Group. It will not be used for commercial purposes.
  • The research project has been approved by the RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee
Why have you been approached?

You have been approached to participate in the study on the basis that you are in a public space where public wi-fi is available.

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?

We will ask you to respond to questions and discussion points regarding the nature of your use of the local public wi-fi network and your satisfaction with the service. We will not inquire about the actual content you have accessed on the network. The discussion will last no longer than 15 minutes.

What are the possible risks or disadvantages?

Participation in the interview will involve no 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 the RMIT Ethics Officer as soon as convenient (see below for contact details). The Ethics Officer 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.

What will happen to the information I provide?

The information you provide will be stored on a password-protected computer drive at RMIT University and by Goulburn Mulwaree Council and The Goulburn Group.

Interview data will be used in conference presentations and publications arising from the research.

Project data will be kept securely for five years after publication, following which it will be permanently archived or destroyed.

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?
  • The right to withdraw from participation at any time without explanation
  • The right to request that any recording cease
  • The right to have any unprocessed data withdrawn and destroyed, provided it can be reliably identified, and provided that so doing does not increase the risk for the participant.
  • The right to have any questions answered at any time.
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,

Chief Investigator, Dr Ian McShane and the project investigators:

Dr Mark Gregory (RMIT University)

Dr Prateek Goorha (RMIT University)

Dr Chris Wilson (RMIT University)

Professor Jason Potts (RMIT University)

Em. Professor Margaret Jackson (RMIT University)

Professor Denise Meredyth (University of South Australia)

Professor Catherine Middleton (Ryerson University)


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