RASA recently concluded an on-line survey canvassing options on three letter suffix callsigns for Foundation class amateurs.
As we have done for all of our other surveys, we used the Survey Monkey on-line platform. On-line surveys are standard practice these days, across the community, the private sector and government.
As agreed by the WIA and RASA Presidents, the nature of the amateur radio demographic does not suit traditional surveys that require an invitation by email.
Limiting the survey to email distribution disenfranchises probably 60% of amateurs – those who aren’t members of the WIA, RASA or radio clubs.
Short of sending a letter to every individual licencee, there is no other methodology available to seek sector views.
The WIA and RASA also discussed the WIA suggestion of a third choice in the survey – “no action”. It was agreed that this was pointless, as there is a clear problem that needs a solution.
The survey was conducted over 6 days. The platform allows the IP addresses of all respondents to be recorded and running totals to be observed in real time.
We analysed the addresses and found no evidence of fraudulent conduct or attempts to spam/influence the survey.
The distribution of responses remained relatively constant over the survey period, with only very minor variations. There was no particular spike in responses one way or another.
The survey was made available online to all Australian amateurs with internet access. We did not target specific interest groups.
Links to the survey were provided on RASA’s website and Facebook page, bulletins distributed to clubs and members via email, AR Victoria to members via email, AR NSW via its Facebook page and social media in general.
The survey was also advertised on the very popular vkclassifieds website. The only requirement was that respondents needed to have internet access.
We utilised statistical theory and on-line calculators to determine our survey size:
The following metrics were used.
- Population size: 14,000 (probably too large given many amateurs are not active, and many don’t really care about the hobby enough to take an interest).
- Margin of error: 5% (The range, measured as a percentage that your population’s responses may deviate from your samples).
- Confidence Level: 95% (The probability that your sample accurately reflects the attitude of your population. The industry standard is 95%)
- Recommended sample size for 95% confidence: 374, for 99%: 636
The survey had 974 responses – this exceeds the 99% Confidence Level and 5% margin of error. We received over 500 responses within the first 24 hours, and there was no material swing in results after that time.
The responses to the questions are detailed below.
A majority preferred option 2 – a new prefix.
We have passed the results to ACMA.