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NBN is essential, says Essential poll, but not Turnbull's NBN

Finally, something that crosses the political divide

By Richard Chirgwin, 5 Oct 2016

Australia's famous two-party divide doesn't apply to our attitude towards the Internet: nearly everybody thinks the Internet is an essential service.

According to polling from the Essential Report published yesterday, Liberal voters are slightly more likely to consider the Internet an essential service than Labor – 92 per cent versus 91 per cent, respectively.*

The total figure – 88 per cent – across all respondents was only dragged down by “other” at 87 per cent.

However, the poll suggests nobody thinks Australia's national broadband network (NBN) as it's now being cobbled together out of string, coathangers and gaffer tape built is up to the job: only 22 per cent reckon “the National Broadband Network will adequately meet Australia’s future Internet requirements”.

As with the need for the Internet, there was only a slim political divide: 47 per cent of Labor voters and 44 per cent of coalition voters reckon the NBN's a dead duck; 25 per cent of Labor voters and 24 per cent of coalition voters think Mal's multi-technology mess is fit-for-purpose.

The only point that got voters to line up behind their favourite party was the obligatory “who has the best plan?” question: ”The Government’s national broadband network plan is to more quickly roll out fibre to local nodes and let Telstra’s copper network carry internet traffic to households, compared to Labor’s plan to roll out fibre to every household outside rural areas, which would cost more and have taken longer but produced higher speeds. Which plan do you believe is best for Australia?”

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
The Liberal Government's plan 27% 8% 54% 13% 22%
The Labor plan 42% 73% 17% 66% 42%
Don't know 32% 19% 29% 22% 36%

®

* Australia's Liberal party is a socially-and-economically conservative party. Yes, US readers, we know that's confusing. But that's the way we do things down here.

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