Australians still prefer public NBN: study

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Australians still prefer public NBN: study

Study finds five years of mostly negative media sentiment.

A team of researchers at the University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology has found most Australians are still in favour of the national broadband network being an exercise in public enterprise, rather than private enterprise or a public-private partnership.

The research, first reported in The Conversation, found 60 percent of those surveyed agreed with the NBN being a public project, while just 10 percent disagreed.

The research was part of a larger qualitative and quantitative study of more than 2000 people that looked at public attitudes and perceptions of the NBN, as well as media bias on the project.

The researchers found media articles on the NBN over the past five years have been mostly negative, despite 64 percent of the Australians it surveyed feeling positive about the project.

In light of such coverage, many Australians remain unconvinced about the advantages of connecting to the NBN, with one in four not believing it would be of personal benefit.

The research found 49 percent of those surveyed were likely to connect when the NBN reached their area, 35 percent were unsure, and 17 percent were not likely to connect.

Writing in The Conversation, the study authors said those surveyed appeared to find it difficult to imagine how the NBN would change their lives, though the better the current internet service those surveyed had, the more likely they were to have a positive attitude to the NBN.

The researchers put forward 12 positive propositions on aspects of life that might change with the NBN, such as access to education or healthcare, but none attracted more than 16 percent support. The highest was ‘working from home’ which managed 15.7 percent support.

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