back to article Australians like the NBN: poll

The campaign against Australia’s National Broadband Network appears to be losing ground, with a poll by Essential Research showing growing support for the government’s infrastructure project. Although supporters of the network have always outweighed opponents in Essential’s poll, its latest research shows that for a while, the …


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  1. Graham Wilson

    Even Australians...

    Even Australians should be able to figure out that ultimately the NBN makes huge sense and that it will benefit them directly.

    With a bit of coaching, even Australian wireless users (often those most vehemently opposed) eventually will be able to figure this out too (if naysayer-shock-jocks back off to allow wireless users' IQs to stagger up a point or so).

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Even Australians...

      But you foget, in Australia National infrastructure schemes are part of the nations blood - the Inland Telegraph routes, the Ghan, The Snowy Mountain Scheme, etc.

      We know these things end up being worth it.

    2. Goat Jam

      Re: Even Australians...

      The NBN makes little sense.

      Fibre to the node would work just as well and be significantly cheaper.

      I saw this poll result yesterday. What people say in response to a pollsters question rarely matches up with reality.

      Reality in this case is that where the NBN has been rolled out there has been an approximately 11% takeup of the service

      "At a national level, the overall take-up rate has hit 11 per cent, but in Brunswick only 5.5 per cent of residents have signed up to the service, while in the first launch site of Armidale in NSW only 2 per cent have signed up."

      The take up rate is the *only* poll that counts and it shows that most people have no interest in the NBN at the price asked.

      1. austcc

        Re: Re: Even Australians...

        "Fibre to the node would work just as well and be significantly cheaper."

        Cheaper for whom to build? It would be cheaper to build - if you currently own the copper lines. It will be more expensive to build if you don't.

        Cheaper for whom to pay? If Telstra still maintains control over the new FTTN infrastructure, then unless ACCC steps in yet again to declare the prices, it is likely to be more expensive to the end user, ie productivity loss for the economy as a whole.

        1. Chad H.


          Might br cheaper and "good enough" for today and tomorrow, but what about 5years time when we're wanting to stream multiple superHD/3D streams? Then we have to pay more later to get to the same result.

          Unless of course you honestly think technology and bandwith requirements have met their peak?

    3. Mark 65

      Re: Even Australians...

      That's not really what I read the poll result as. I read it as "Australians are currently happy with the NBN because they're not currently paying for it or suffering any consequences of Government control over the underlying infrastructure". Wait until they're paying for it some way down the track and then let's see how pleased they are.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not just the NBN

    I'm 100% in favour of the separation of Telstra, and the re-nationalisation of the core-infrastructure.

    If the NBN is the only practical way to achieve this then I'm in favour of it. I belive that critical national infrastructure should belong in Public hands. That includes roads, intercity rail, major ports, water, power and primary communications.

    If somehow Telstra manage to maintain a commercial monopoly on "infrastructure essential to the Nation" then I'm going to be pissed ... again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not just the NBN

      IMHO they're just making another Telstra, cause Sen. Conroy got upset when Telstra told him to bend over, when working on the fibre to the node project.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the $14B odd that the government has agreed to pay Telstra more than the cost of that project.

      Sure I like the idea of having fibre to the home, but given the spin and management skills of this government I'm not holding my breath.

      1. -tim

        Re: Re: It's not just the NBN

        The $14B is rental only. There are lots of other payments involved too. It doesn't apply if the NBN doesn't roll out to their schedule, they get the money but may not lose the copper or the customers.

        Conroy is working on being CEO of Telstra Mark ][

  3. Quidam

    How to skew a poll

    Funny thing the NBN support: after the useless government commits to blowing $45billion we don't have, then in order to "show" support for this doomed, overpriced project they run to their safe labor seats and conduct a poll. Interestingly enough, I have only come accross 2 people that said the NBN is a great thing (out of possibly 30-35 people I've talked to about this).

    1. Originone

      Re: How to skew a poll

      "I have only come accross 2 people that said the NBN is a great thing (out of possibly 30-35 people I've talked to about this)."

      Its usually unconcious but we tend to be surrounded by and interact with people who share similar beleifs to us. One example of that is your 2 out of 35 . Another is ther vast majority of people that I work with and socialise with who are very much in favour of the NBN.

      Both of those examples are entirely anecdotal and therefore worth squat by way of denying/supporting the findings of this poll.

  4. Robert Heffernan

    2000 Character Limit??!?

    Ok, so I sat back, wrote out a rather insightful post on how the NBN is a good thing, how it is the way of the future and all that good stuff. It was long, but not so much so that it took a long time to read. I tried to post it. Sorry, 2000 character limit. I shortened it. Sorry, 2000 character limit.

    Is a 2k hard limit really needed? Does El Reg have a shortage of hard disk space where 2k is just too big to fit? Is El Reg running SQL Server with a 4Gb database size limit and don't want long posts eating into the limit?

    Are the El Reg web guys worried the long messages will take up too much screen real estate? If so, why not limit the message shown to a portion of the response with a "Read More" link below it to reveal the rest if requested.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2000 Character Limit??!?

      Anything more than 2000 words runs the risk of being a well thought and and articulated argument. Can't have that here. Much better for the astro-turfers and shills if everybody was limited to 25 words or less.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to word a survey question

    Of course the majority of people want the NBN, who wouldn't want FASTER internet, especially when many think it is some magical FREE service the government is going to conjure up out of thin air. It is only when people realise how much the NBN is going to cost 'per head' in tax dollars that they wonder if that same 'per head' total may be better spent in other more important areas or if there might be a more efficient and cheaper broadband solution.

    Fortunately for the current government most Australians don't do the simple arithmetic of $45B + (the ACTUAL extra it will end up costing) divided by the number of taxpayers who will pay for it in order to discover that 'per-head' figure themselves. Most are also willing to overlook other potential problems such as 'the return of the Telstra Monopoly' for the simple promise of 'faster' internet.

    A better survey question might have been to ask "do you think that a faster internet is worth $45B+", but that probably wouldn't really discover the answer that whoever was funding this research wanted to hear.

    Like others here have said, real support for the NBN will be shown by the actual 'take-up' numbers once it has rolled out, but even then the numbers will be easily skewed, especially if competing providers are willing to accept generous government 'incentives' to switch off their existing copper services forcing everyone on to the NBN. For a government so confident of its NBN and the public support for it, they're incredibly quick to also ensure that any competition to it is effectively much for letting the market and consumers decide.

    1. Mark 65

      Re: How to word a survey question

      12.3m taxpayers (ATO source, around 2008-2009).

      That gives 45,000/12.3 ~ $3,660 per taxpayer. Not sure how I feel about that amount.

      However, if you look at the following annual budget amounts...

      Education - $29.938bn

      Health - $59.858bn

      It kind of puts it in perspective. Nearly 4 times the annual schools budget and over 4 times the higher education budget. Incidentally the Government already pay $11.6bn per year in interest on its current outstanding debt.

  6. Paul 129

    45 Billion dollars

    I like to think of a single pile of dollar coins.

    It would reach 2/3 of the way to the moon. It would be over 3 times the height needed for a satellite in geostationary orbit. Its astronomical!

    What could go wrong?

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    Bring it

    I'll use it

  8. Shane 4

    NBN is awesome!

    Maybe it is a slow uptake because a lot of us are already on 100mbit speeds from Telstra for the past 2 years when they secretly had a package on offer but it wasn't really advertised much!

    When NBN raises those speeds to 200,500mbit or 1gbit speeds you can bet your arse I will be signing up if Telstra doesn't have anything to offer me at that time. As HD content and even 4k resolution content starts appearing we will need every bit of extra speed we can get,Fibre is the way to go!

    NBN will be one of the best investments Oz has ever done not just for future business transactions but for the general masses entertainment purposes!

    1. Mark 65

      Re: NBN is awesome!

      I think that you'll find the links off of the island will be suffering with 500mb/s+ speeds to the general populous.

    2. -tim

      Re: NBN is awesome!

      The problem is they can't crank everyone up to those speeds. The NBN as it is now is 2.5 gigabit shared. (Telstra cable is about 1/4 of that in most places and 1/2 in some places and faster in 2). The NBN shares all the light with 32 nearby households (sort of like cable TV) and then shares that link with several clusters (just like cable TV). When you decide you need to send a RAID packet to your NAS at work, your NBN device has to time a packet that is about 30 cm long down a one lane road so it doesn't crash into everyone elses packets. This is why PON hasn't gone to gigabit in the real world until recently with the NTT single star and dual star systems...which don't work as well as they would like. They had to build in second PON network to get the upstream traffic back to the host. At gigabits that ethernet packet is about an inch which means your NBN laser modem needs to get its timing down to a tenth of a nanosecond with 31 other cheap devices so it won't step on their packets. A good GPS chip can do 90 ns and fiber on the poles differs in optical length a thousand times that. The only long term solution is fiber pairs point to point to a swtich in an exchange.

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