November 8, 2017
This blog has reported several times on Australia’s nationwide, government-owned broadband network, NBN. The network hasn’t helped address the nation’s digital divide and might need additional taxpayer investment to stay afloat.
We also noted last year that Australians aren’t that impressed with NBN.
That continues to be true as 2017 comes to an end.
According to the Australian website Choice, complaints against NBN increased 159 percent between 2016 and 2017. As Choice explained, “Delays were the main cause of dissatisfaction, averaging 8.3 complaints for every thousand premises with an active connection, followed by complaints about internet and landline services delivered over the national broadband network.” The number of NBN complaints contributed to that fact that the volume of Internet complaints exceeded those for mobiles and landlines for the first time ever.
The increase came during a period during which NBN’s CEO earned $3.7 million. (He earned the same amount the year before.) According to The Sydney Morning Herald “only” one-third of the CEO’s compensation is based on “how successfully the national broadband network” is rolled out.”
The complaint surge isn’t the only bad news. According to TechRadar, a recent global survey by Ipsos concluded that “Australians are more unsatisfied with their broadband than any of the other 27 countries that participated in the survey.” Only one-third of Australians rate broadband in their country as fairly good or very good. The average among the 27 nations was 56 percent.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called NBN a “mistake.” He also called it a “calamitous train wreck.” American policymakers know that feeling. Ask the former mayor of Marietta, Ga., who said that city never should have tried to run its own broadband network.
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