The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2012-07-10T00:52:20Z NBN could provide boost for rural growth 2012-07-10T00:52:20Z nbn-could-provide-boost-for-rural-growth The National Broadband Network (NBN) could provide an incentive for city dwellers to move to underpopulated regional and rural areas, an online poll has suggested. Broadband comparison website Compare Broadband asked site visitors “Would an NBN high speed internet connection encourage you to relocate to a rural area?” Of the 541 respondents, a surprising 213 respondents said Yes, to make up 39%. Adam Wajnberg, spokesperson for Compare Broadband, said: "This is really quite significant. We ran a similar poll asking if people would consider an area’s broadband penetration as a factor in choosing to rent or buy, and the result in that was even more encouraging, where nearly 80% of respondents said it was a factor. This poll is asking a lot more - complete relocation out of the city – and yet broadband availability is still a major consideration."Rural and regional customers are currently in a situation where low-cost alternatives to Telstra are not available. The major network providers – Optus, TPG, iiNet, Internode and iPrimus – usually do not wire their network points to remote areas, leaving only Telstra Wholesale as an option. Not only will the NBN bring more competition and universal pricing to regional areas, it will also guarantee fast, reliable connections, making telecommuting a more realistic prospect. The high proportion of positive responses to Compare Broadband's poll suggests many people living in urban areas would consider a sea change if the infrastructure was in place. This would fit in with Government policy in some states, such as Victoria, where the Government is encouraging young people to stay in or move to regional areas. A Victorian Government spokesperson said: "All Victorians would benefit from improved productivity, potential government service delivery and social equity through access to high-speed broadband. "The NBN alone does not address all telecommunications services that are critical for regional and rural Victoria. "However, it is the Commonwealth Government's responsibility to ensure that all Victorians have access to adequate telecommunications services."Key drivers for regional expansion with high speed broadband Co-location services - Major international sites like Amazon and Google store enormous amounts of data that can take time to access with the international internet. By housing data centres in regional Australia, they can provide Australians with their services more quickly and efficiently, and help create a digital economy in affordable areas Telemedicine – Regional hospitals have to service vastly wider areas than metro hospitals. High speed, symmetrical broadband (high speed both upstream and downstream) can facilitate remote medicine, where imaging and pathology equipment manned by a small staff can upload images and data to large hospitals for diagnosis. This service would require high speed connections at both the patient and hospital ends Distance education – Current broadband speeds affords this option to many already, but remote students often don’t have good enough speeds to afford this option, thereby passing over those who would most benefit. With the much higher speeds of fibre-to-the-home, education by distance could also move beyond downloading lectures and short videos to fully immersive conference call environments. These would more accurately simulate the real-life interaction of students and teachers. Tablet has not killed the PC 2012-05-28T03:40:05Z tablet-has-not-killed-the-pc Tablets have not displaced personal computers in the home just yet, according to a poll, despite sales figures suggesting tablets are killing off the PC.Compare Broadband, the broadband comparison website, asked visitors to the site "Would you replace your PC with an iPad or another tablet?" Of the 277 respondents, 80% said no.Spokesperson for Compare Broadband, Adam Wajnberg, said: "We hear from many customers who have just bought a tablet and are looking for a plan. Although browsing the web, watching YouTube videos and sending emails are all easy activities on a tablet, it seems people are not ready to ditch the keyboard and mouse yet."Tablets are often seen as only a mobile option but they work well with a home Wi-Fi network too."Earlier this year, IT analysts Telsyte reported 2.6 million Australians have bought a tablet and predicted this figure to rise to 11 million by 2016. Simultaneously, PCs makers HP, Dell and Intel have flagged flat or losing quarters this year, while Apple has posted flat or small increases in iMac desktop computer sales.Despite sales figures pointing to a trend in consumers buying tablets over desktops or laptops, the poll suggests they are not yet ready to entirely replace a personal computer with a tablet. Customers looking for a 3G data plan with their tablets have the option to sign up to a 24-month contract, spreading the tablet payments over two years, similar to a mobile phone.Compare Broadband's tips for tablets• Use a Bluetooth keyboard if you need to do a lot of typing on your tablet. All-in-one keyboard, case and stands are available which will make working on a document much easier • If you don't have the cash up front for a tablet and you also need data, consider a 24-month plan• Most smartphones have a 'tethering' option, creating a Wi-Fi hotspot your tablet can connect to while out and about, so you may not need separate data plans for your phone and tablet• Call Compare Broadband on 1300 764 000 to find out which tablets are available on a contract, or for information on SIM-only plans---ENDS---NotesWould you replace your PC with an iPad or another tablet? Yes, I don't need a desktop or laptop now I have a tablet, 18% (49 votes). No, 80% (223 votes). Other, 2% (5 votes). Total Votes: 277About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers. Broadband customers not getting what they pay for 2012-03-16T00:08:53Z broadband-customers-not-getting-what-they-pay-for A third of broadband customers do not believe they are getting the service they pay for, according to a poll.In a survey of 425 visitors to broadband comparison website Compare Broadband, 33% of voters responded to the question 'Why would you leave your internet service provider today' with 'I'm not getting the service I pay for', suggesting there is a stark difference between expectation and reality for many broadband customers.Given that the poll was conducted on a broadband comparison website, which compares over 1,000 plans from 15 providers, a high rate of dissatisfaction with current services is to be expected and only 7% of voters claimed to be happy with their ISP.The responses go some way towards describing where customer angst is coming from. Most respondents (36%) said their current provider is too expensive, 33% claimed they are not getting the service they pay for and 14% are unhappy with the customer service they receive.The lack of concern about customer service might be a surprise but this trend is also reflected in TIO complaints figures. Complaints to the telecommunications ombudsman relating to customer service were down by 34% in the last three months of 2011, compared to the same period in 2010. Complaints about complaint handling were also down, by 62%, suggesting broadband providers are improving their customer service and complaints processes.Compare Broadband spokesperson, Sarah McDonald, said: "Although ISPs can improve many aspects of their services, from billing to technical support, many customers expecting fast internet speeds are frustrated by a lack of access to ADSL2+, or slow connections due to their distance from the exchange. There isn't much that ISPs can do about these problems as they are tied into the current infrastructure."Consumers who are frustrated with their current internet connection can try to improve their service in a number of ways.If they are on mobile broadband and their service is consistently slow or frequently drops out, they can try switching providers to one that can provide better coverage to their area. Alternatively, they might be better on a fixed-line service such as ADSL2+ or cable if available. Customers stuck with mobile broadband because of a lack of fixed-line options can look into installing an aerial to their property in order to pick up a better signal.Customers who are unhappy with their service should always contact their broadband provider first to find out if there is a technical solution to their problems but if they are not happy with the response, there is always the option to switch to another provider.---- ENDS ----About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers.Notes:Why would you leave your internet service provider today? Too expensive 35.76% (152 votes), Bad customer service 13.65% (58 votes), Not getting the service I pay for 33.18% (141 votes), I just don't like them 3.53% (15 votes), I'm happy with my ISP 7.29% (31 votes), Other: 6.59% (28 votes) Total Votes: 425 Fast broadband changing Australian lifestyles 2011-09-06T23:46:06Z fast-broadband-changing-australian-lifestyles Faster broadband speeds and larger download quotas are changing our online habits, as 91.4% of respondents to an online survey claim they have tried a new activity on their internet connection over the last year.A survey from broadband comparison website Compare Broadband found out of a total of 309 respondents, who voted 616 times, only 53 said their internet habits have not changed over the last 12 months. Over a quarter (26%) claimed to have started downloading movies and music online, while streaming TV services such as ABC iView has also become more popular, taking 20% of the vote. 17% have started playing online games.Listening to online radio is the fourth most popular new activity on the web, with 15% of total votes, while VoIP and video calls took around 14% of the vote.On average, each respondent nominated two different new internet-based activities over the last 12 months.Compare Broadband spokesperson, Jesse Somer, said: “A lot of people are now getting fast broadband with higher data quotas, but not all for the same reason. It seems many people are moving away from their TVs and radios to access this content online instead.Mr Somer continued: “It’s amazing how the number of people mainly using the internet to listen to online radio is nearly the same as those who are now into online gaming. It just goes to show the internet is opening all kinds of doors for people, thus enhancing their lifestyles in different ways.”According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the total volume of data downloaded by Australians increased by a third over 2010.The growing popularity of streaming video and radio online could account for some of this increase. An hour-long TV program streamed from Foxtel's IPTV service on Xbox can burn through 800MB of data on the highest quality setting, which adds up to around 50GB a month for two hours of streaming TV per night.---- ENDS ----About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers.Notes: Total of 309 respondents, 53 (8% of the vote) said internet habits have not changed over the last 12 months. 160 votes (26%) for downloading movies and music online, 123 (20%) votes for streaming TV services such as iView. 106 votes (17%) for playing online games. 91 (15%) votes for listening to online radio. 83 votes (14%) for VoIP and video calls. On average, each respondent nominated two different new activities over the last 12 months.ABS statistics http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8153.0/ Foxtel on Xbox http://www.foxtel.com.au/support/foxtel-on-xbox-360/what-is-foxtel-on-xbox-360/default.htm#subtopic13 Consumers reluctant to pay more for online TV 2011-03-30T00:37:23Z consumers-reluctant-to-pay-more-for-online-tv The majority of broadband customers aren't prepared to pay more for extras on their plan such as unmetered TV shows, according to a survey.In a recent poll from comparison website Compare Broadband, site visitors were asked, "Would you pay more for a broadband plan to include unmetered Australian TV shows online?" 66% (242 votes) of the 367 respondents said "No" to the query, while 32% (118 votes) said, "Yes" and 2% (7 votes) said, "I don’t know".Several Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer content including Internet TV channels for free, with the downloads used to view them not counting towards a customer’s monthly data quota.Scott Kennedy, Compare Broadband's General Manager, commented: "Right now 'content' is not important to the majority of consumers; however, when the NBN is rolled out and wholesale prices are the same for all ISPs, content partnerships will become a key point of differentiation."The results are also indicative of the way we presently use our broadband connection and as we become more internet savvy we will stream video via our broadband connection through our HDTV, at that time content will be a major driver in our purchasing decision."iiNet, iPrimus, BigPond and Internode all allow their customers to watch channels such as ABC's iView or FetchTV without having to worry that their monthly quota will be reached too early, resulting in a shaped (slowed down) broadband speed, or in some cases, excess usage charges. These providers all have competitively-priced plans for ADSL, ADSL2+ and Naked DSL customers.iiNet’s Freezone feature leads the pack as it lets its customers access FetchTV, which can be added onto plans at an extra cost, ABC iView, Bloomberg.com and Loco TV, as well as Tivo Movies On Demand and QuickFlix online movie rentals, all without adding to the download quota. iPrimus and Internode also has a deal with ABC iView, iPrimus is associated with Tivo, and Internode with FetchTV.Allowing consumers to stream content from the other free-to-air networks such as Ten, Seven and Nine and even the BBC's iPlayer once the service goes global, for no extra cost, seems to be the next logical step for providers and one that would be welcomed by consumers.---- ENDS ----About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers.Notes: Site visitors were asked, "Would you pay more for a broadband plan to include unmetered Australian TV shows online?" 66% (242 votes) of the 367 respondents said "No", 32% (118 votes) said, "Yes" and 2% (7 votes) said, "I don't know". Australians split on NBN following floods 2011-02-02T03:17:10Z australians-split-on-nbn-following-floods Opposition leader Tony Abbott's suggestion that the National Broadband Network (NBN) should be scrapped following Queensland's flood crisis has split opinion among Australians, a survey shows.Broadband comparison site Compare Broadband asked visitors 'Tony Abbott believes the government should scrap the National Broadband Network (NBN) and focus on rebuilding following the flood crisis. Do you agree?'48% of the 460 respondents who made a decision backed the Federal Government's view that the NBN should not be abandoned and 52% agreed with Tony Abbott. Sarah Routledge, spokesperson for Compare Broadband, said: "Politicians are arguing about where the money should come from for rebuilding in the aftermath of the floods and it looks as though neither side has quite convinced the public. It will be interesting to see how the Government comes up with the cash without compromising on its election promises."Mr Abbott has called on the Government to stop unnecessary spending in order to focus on reconstruction in Queensland and in parts of Victoria.At a recent press conference, the Liberals leader said: "The National Broadband Network is a luxury that Australia cannot now afford. The one thing you don't do is re-do your bathroom when the roof has just been blown off and that’s the situation that we find ourselves in right now."The Government has insisted there will be no delay to the roll-out of the NBN, which it claims is an important investment in the country's future. Instead, Labor proposes scrapping a number of environment tax rebates, delaying some infrastructure projects, and imposing a one-off flood levy to pay for the damage caused by the flooding.However, the Opposition believes the money should be found by re-prioritising government spending.If you are in support of the NBN, you can sign this petition.---- ENDS ----About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers.Notes:'Tony Abbott believes the government should scrap the National Broadband Network (NBN) and focus on rebuilding following the flood crisis. Do you agree?486 respondents, 48.77% (237 votes) said yes, 45.88% (223 votes) said no, (460 respondents made a decision) 3.29% (16 votes) said not sure, 2.06% (10 votes) said other. Broadband jargon 'too hard to understand' 2011-01-11T04:29:19Z broadband-jargon-too-hard-to-understand A poll shows 91% of Australians believe complex internet jargon makes it too difficult to choose a plan, despite efforts from the ACCC to make the broadband market more transparent.In a poll by broadband comparison website Compare Broadband, site visitors were asked, ‘Do you think broadband providers use so much complex jargon it's hard to choose a plan?’ The resounding answer from 91% (499 votes) of 549 total voters was ‘Yes’, while only 8% (44 votes) said ‘No’, and 1% (6 votes) of people ‘didn’t know’.Compare Broadband spokesperson, Jesse Somer, said: "Australians are obviously confused about how broadband internet is being marketed to them and this means many consumers could be overpaying for their broadband."The ACCC has had some success in enforcing legislation against ISPs using deceptive or misleading advertising but perhaps it should now work with ISPs to ensure all broadband plans are sold in clear, simple terms."The ACCC has promised to crack down on ISPs who use internet jargon with the intent to deceive customers. However, ISPs appear to be using terms to describe broadband that are unfamiliar to the average person, which could unintentionally confuse customers.Ordinary consumers can be put off by terms like Gigabytes, mobile wireless bundle deals and Naked DSL, especially if terms differ between providers.Fortunately, comparison sites such as Compare Broadband can help consumers cut through the jargon to help them find the right plan for their needs.---- ENDS ----About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers. Notes: ‘Do you think broadband providers use so much complex jargon it's hard to choose a plan?’ 549 total votes. 91% (499 votes) said ‘Yes’, only 8% (44 votes) said ‘No’, and 1% (6 votes) of people ‘didn’t know’. Majority of Australians unhappy with current broadband speed 2010-10-15T06:06:45Z majority-of-australians-unhappy-with-current-broadband-speed The majority of Australians are unhappy with the speed of their current broadband connection, according to a recent poll from Compare Broadband.When asked, “Are you happy with the speeds you are getting on your current broadband connection?” of the 364 poll respondents, a massive 68% were unhappy, while 20% said they were happy ‘sometimes, it (the broadband speed) fluctuates’. Only 12% were happy with the speed of their broadband connection.This may be a positive sign the Federal Government should push forward in rolling out the proposed fibre optic NBN (National Broadband Network) as quickly as possible.Jesse Somer, a spokesperson for Compare Broadband, said: “If someone is visiting a broadband comparison website you can infer they are looking for a better deal. But the changing world of the internet with internet TV, online gaming and the need for high-speed downloading of movies and music, could be pushing people towards wanting a faster speed.”While ADSL2+ and Cable broadband technologies have improved broadband speeds for many Australians, fast broadband is still not available everywhere. Many activities on the internet such as streaming video content and online gaming require a faster connection than is available in some areas.Mr Somer continued, “The NBN will run at speeds of up to either 100Mbps or even 1Gbps, so if implemented would ensure most Australians will have fast broadband. It will also enable a large family or small business to use numerous computers simultaneously from a single connection, with everyone downloading data or streaming video concurrently, without any lag time or having to wait for something to load up.”In the meantime, consumers who are unhappy with their speed can check Compare Broadband's tips and tricks. Consumers can also shop around for their broadband provider to ensure they are getting the fastest internet connection possible.<a href="http://www.twitter.com/BroadbandOz" title="Follow us on Twitter"><img src="http://s.twimg.com/a/1279750718/images/business/follow/follow_twitter_button_c.png" alt="Follow us on Twitter" /></a> Broadband users would pay more for ISP with Australian call centre 2010-09-30T05:34:45Z broadband-users-would-pay-more-for-isp-with-australian-call-centre Australians appear to be frustrated with broadband providers whose customer service, billing, or technical support services are based offshore, with 66% of users willing to pay more for Australian-based customer service.In a recent poll from broadband comparison site Compare Broadband, visitors were asked, “How much more would you pay for a broadband provider whose customer service is based in Australia?” Exactly two-thirds (66%) of the total 334 poll respondents said they would pay anywhere between $5 and $20 extra per month on their broadband bill just to speak to a representative based in Australia.22% (72 votes) of voters said they would pay $20 more each month on their broadband bill for an Australian-based call centre, 25% (83 votes) said they’d pay $5 more, while 15% (50 votes) would pay an extra $10 and 4% (15 votes) would pay $15 for the ‘privilege’. Only 34% (112 votes) of people said, “I wouldn’t pay more” for the onshore service.Scott Kennedy, General Manager of Compare Broadband, said: “As unlimited data plans become the norm, ISPs need to differentiate themselves in other ways. Price is a major factor and I expect ‘free content’ to play a big part moving forward but I’m surprised consumers are prepared to pay more for Australia-based customer support. Broadband providers with support in Australia should be making more of song and dance about it.”For broadband providers like Netspace, Westnet, Internode and iPrimus, whose call centres are based on Australia’s mainland, this result suggests a new opportunity for marketing the advantages of an onshore service. The poll’s conclusion could also be an impetus for ISPs whose customer support teams are based offshore to consider adding at least one onshore call centre.With the recent battle of the ever growing gigabyte and ever decreasing monthly cost of broadband plans, broadband plans have been marketed primarily on their size and cost. However, the poll suggests customers still place a high value on customer service from an Australian-based representative.---- ENDS ----About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers. Australia's broadband infrastructure 'holding back the economy' 2010-09-06T23:56:27Z australia-s-broadband-infrastructure-holding-back-the-economy Australia's broadband infrastructure is holding back the economy, according to 75% of respondents to an online poll from broadband comparison site Compare Broadband.Compare Broadband asked site visitors, "Is Australia's broadband infrastructure holding back the nation's economy?" Three quarters (75.4%) of the 475 voters (358 votes) said 'Yes', while only 21.3% (101 votes) said 'No', and 3.4% (16 votes) 'didn't know'. A significant proportion of Australia's economy is based on the farming and resources sectors, yet broadband access in rural areas is restricted. Even in some metropolitan areas, businesses and consumers cannot receive high-speed broadband connections.It is hard to imagine the multi-billion dollar resource companies in the Outback not having high quality broadband, but in some instances this must be the case as Australia's vast geographical landmass has prohibited infrastructure in certain bush locations.With the current hung parliament in Australia, and its winner being decided by three independent candidates who all live in regional areas where broadband is lacking, broadband could be the deciding factor to the political conundrum at hand.Compare Broadband's General Manager, Scott Kennedy, said: "I'm surprised that 75% of people feel our current broadband infrastructure is stifling the economy. Evidently it is an important issue to Australian consumers. The NBN may well be on the money."Another argument for broadband internet being key to Australia's economy centres on the telecommunications and information technology industries. If businesses have faster broadband, they can then compete on a par with rival Asian companies. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has also pointed out that the NBN itself will provide a huge number of jobs via its necessary construction and maintenance.All of these issues point to a belief by Australians that our economy is being held back because of the current broadband infrastructure’s lack of speed and availability. It will be interesting to see which way the three remaining independents go in the coming week, as the Federal government's $43 billion optical fibre-to-the-home NBN policy varies greatly from the Coalition's $6.5 billion Mobile Wireless network plan.---- ENDS ----About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia's leading Internet Service Providers.Notes: Compare Broadband asked site visitors, "Is Australia’s broadband infrastructure holding back the nation's economy?" Three quarters (75.4%) of the 475 voters (358 votes) said 'Yes', while only 21.3% (101 votes) said 'No', and 3.4% (16 votes) 'didn’t know'. Broadband 'equal to utilities like gas and water' 2010-08-31T05:38:34Z 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.Broadband comparison website 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.---- ENDS ----About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers.Notes:Do you think broadband is as necessary as utilities like gas, water and electricity? 371 respondents to the poll. 78% said "Yes", while 22% said "No". National Broadband Network could swing election for Labor 2010-08-20T05:28:59Z national-broadband-network-could-swing-election-for-labor Labor's National Broadband Network could swing the election in the government's favour, with the majority of Australians preferring the NBN over the Coalition's alternative proposal.In an online poll from broadband comparison site Compare Broadband, 63% of respondents to the question 'Which broadband policy do you prefer?' voted for Labor's $43 billion NBN, at 100Mbps for 93% of Australians.Despite the hefty price tag and uncertainty over how the fibre optic network will benefit consumers, just 37% preferred the Coalition's $6.3 billion DSL, wireless and fibre solution, with at least 12Mbps for 97% of Australians.As Federal election day draws closer, the government's NBN project has emerged as a key difference between the parties. The Coalition views the project as wasteful spending, while Labor believes a super-fast broadband network will transform Australian society.Scott Kennedy, Compare Broadband's General Manager, said: "In a close race, broadband may be the issue that swings the election in the government's favour. Australians believe a high-speed network is going to be important to the country's future, but Labor still needs to persuade a third of us that $43 billion is a price worth paying."The Coalition has proposed investing in a combination of technologies, including fibre optic, cable and wireless, to bring a minimum speed of 12Mbps to 97% of Australians. While some commentators have expressed disappointment with the proposal, others praised the Opposition for a modest plan that would improve broadband speeds for the majority of Australians.Since the Coalition revealed plans for an upgrade to existing broadband infrastructure at a dramatically reduced cost to the taxpayer, Labor has been advertising the benefits of the fibre optic network, which is currently being trialed in Tasmania.Labor has pledged to set up online consultations with GPs, allowing regional patients to see a doctor without leaving their home, while NBN Co chief Mike Quigley revealed last week that the NBN would be capable of internet speeds of up to 1Gbps, 100 times faster than originally believed.Despite the high cost of the NBN, Labor appears to have captured the public's imagination with its vision of a digital economy. Broadband may be the gamble that wins the government this election.---- ENDS ----About CompareBroadband.com.au:CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers.Notes: 528 respondents. Which broadband policy do you prefer? Labor's $43bn NBN at 100Mbps for 93% of Australians: 331 votes, 62.69%The Coalition's $6.3bn DSL, wireless and fibre solution with at least 12Mbps for 97% of Australians, 197 votes, 37.31% National Broadband Network’s 100Mbps plans must be more affordable 2010-08-18T06:59:06Z national-broadband-network-s-100mbps-plans-must-be-more-affordable Spending $43 billion of Australian taxpayers' money on a super-quick state-of-the-art optical fibre network could result in a bad investment for the country if the current pricing by NBN resellers for 100Mbps plans aren’t lowered. A recent poll from broadband comparison website Compare Broadband asked, ‘Would you pay $100 per month for 60GB with the NBN's 100Mbps ultra-high speed optical fibre internet?’ This question was based on the average price for a reseller’s highest possible speed within the optical fibre service. 61% of 374 pollsters said they would not pay the $100, while 33% said they would, and 6% didn’t know either way. If nothing is changed to the NBN’s pricing scheme, this result infers nearly two-thirds of Australians may not take up the fastest form of the new broadband service. There are two ‘slower’ speeds being offered via the NBN’s new fibre-to-the-home service at 25Mbps and 50Mbps respectively. These are generally priced in a similar range to current ADSL2+ or cable services, but will be a much better broadband service, as less speed is lost throughout the transmission process. These are definitely not slow speeds. However, the question remains about whether a fibre to the home broadband network is worth rolling out if most Australians feel the service is unnecessary, or overpriced. Compare Broadband’s General Manager, Scott Kennedy, when asked about the poll’s result, said: "It suggests that Australians do not see the value in spending more for a faster broadband connection. The NBN Co needs to better educate consumers on the advantages to the economy and individuals of a fibre to the home broadband network or deliver the service at a more affordable price.” Australia currently rates 50 in the world for our broadband speed, and many see this as a major factor that could impede national growth in the future if we are not ‘up to speed’ with other nations. The new NBN network has been promoted as a means to offer numerous jobs (in order to build it), plus creating an infrastructure that would lead to massive growth in Australia’s business and telecommunication industries. Many see broadband internet as comparable to other necessary daily utilities like water, telephone, electricity, or gas and want to see Australia's broadband infrastructure upgraded for the digital age. But if the fastest speeds are unaffordable for the majority of Australians, the cost of joining a world-leading broadband society will be borne by all through the roll out of the NBN, but not used by all. ---- ENDS ---- About CompareBroadband.com.au: CompareBroadband.com.au is an Australian company providing a free, impartial comparison service and expert advice to consumers in relation to broadband plans from Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers. Notes: Would you pay $100 per month for 60GB with the NBN's 100Mbps ultra high speed optical fibre internet? Yes 33% (122 votes) No 61% (230 votes) I don't know 6% (22 votes) Total Votes: 374