November 16, 2016
Readers of this website know that Australia’s countrywide government-owned broadband network, called the National Broadband Network (NBN), has had its share of problems. These problems have translated to deep dissatisfaction among users.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, in a report outlining global infrastructure needs and priorities, the research firm Ipsos said that Australia ranks 23rd among 26 nations, ahead of only Brazil, Peru, and Italy, in terms of consumer satisfaction with broadband. The Herald wrote that Ipsos “found Australians were largely satisfied with the quality and performance of airports, water and sewerage systems, and rail networks, and were most dissatisfied with broadband, energy generation infrastructure and flood defenses.”
Just 38 percent of Australians surveyed by Ipsos rated their broadband service as “very or fairly good” compared to a global average of 54 percent.
In contrast, nearly twice as many American consumers, 68 percent, said their broadband service was “very or fairly good.” The United States was second in the ranking, behind South Korea.
In addition to the dismal study results, The Herald reported that “between January and March this year, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman received 10,985 complaints about internet services” and that “the biggest areas of complaint were slow data speeds, unusable services and connection delays.”
Calling the results “embarrassing,” Internet Australia Chief Executive Laurie Patton said Ipsos’ findings reflect a recent poll in Australia that showed that, while 88 percent of consumers believe the Internet is an “essential” service, “only 22 per cent think the current NBN strategy will meet future needs.” The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network also told The Herald that Ipsos’ results mirror an ACCAN survey conducted earlier this year “that found 70 percent [of Australians] had unsatisfactory experiences with their broadband services.”
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