Broadband poll shows Australians want government-owned NBN

Australian politics may be divided on the issue, but a recent poll shows average residential broadband users think the NBN should be owned by the Federal Government, and not by private companies.

Broadband comparison website Compare Broadband’s poll asked site visitors, “Should the NBN's infrastructure be owned by the government or by private companies?” From a total of 228 voters, a 71% majority said the NBN should be government-owned.

Only one quarter (25%) of citizens believed as the Coalition, that private companies should own the National Broadband Network’s infrastructure, while 4% of people didn’t know either way.

Spokesperson for Compare Broadband, Jesse Somer, said: “This is a sign that although Australians are divided right down the middle in terms of their political support, an overwhelming majority of people agree the government should own the NBN.

“This is the most expensive infrastructure project in our nation’s history, and it seems citizens would rather have their hard-earned tax dollars be controlled by a public interest as opposed to private companies.”

The government-owned NBN Co will own the infrastructure and resell super-fast fibre optic broadband via Internet Service Providers (ISPs) already in the business of reselling Telstra and Optus copper wire ADSL broadband.

On the other side of the argument, the Opposition government wants private companies to own the infrastructure itself, thus taking much of the NBN’s funding pressures off of the average taxpayer.

Either way, we are looking at a potential monopoly in terms of fibre broadband ownership, but it would seem Australians have more trust in the government than in private firms who could potentially push things in their own interest.

Another issue is who to rely on if things turn sour, financially or relating to technical problems. Many Australians believe the government is an entity here to stay, and to support the public, whereas private companies could disappear overnight, or be less adept at solving problems quickly.