Broadband 'equal to utilities like gas and water'

Broadband is now as necessary as utilities like gas, water and electricity, according to 78% of Australians.

Compare Broadband recently held a poll asking site visitors, "Do you think broadband is as necessary as utilities like gas, water and electricity?" A 78% majority of the 371 respondents said "Yes", while only 22% said "No", indicating a broadband connection is now an essential part of Australians' lives.

The poll reflects how important broadband has become to Australia's future. Even the outcome of the Australian Federal election may now rest on broadband, as the independent candidates who may have the final say on the next government have put rural broadband access high on their list of priorities.

Recently on ABC radio, independent candidates Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor spoke about the urgent need for broadband in the bush. Mr Oakeshott said, “It is an issue that's got to be delivered by government and it has got a public good element to it.” Mr Windsor added, “I don't think we fully comprehend what that (broadband) means in terms of the delivery of health and educational services.”

Compare Broadband’s General Manager, Scott Kennedy, said: "Would consumers choose a broadband connection over having water, gas or electricity? I don’t think so! However, the response to the poll clearly shows the importance of a broadband connection to everyday Australians. A digital life is upon us and it would seem that most could not live without it."

People in rural locations around Australia obviously want a more stable and faster broadband internet service, so it would infer the outcome of the current Federal election could be decided by whichever party offers a better broadband policy in the bush.