Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin has seized on an ACMA report showing most Australians are satisfied with their ISP to claim the country does not need a National Broadband Network (NBN).
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) report, released today, concludes that most Australian households and businesses are generally satisfied with the level of service they receive from their Internet Service Provider (ISP), "with the great majority expressing reluctance to switch ISPs."
Minchin said the study "raises serious questions about the Minister's sweeping claims of fundamental market failure" in the telecommunications industry.
"There is no evidence in this ACMA report to justify the Rudd Government risking billions of dollars of taxpayers' money on NBN Mark II," Minchin said.
Questions over survey
The ACMA report is based on a number of sources.
The primary two surveys from which broadband satisfaction was measured was a Roy Morgan survey of 1396 fixed line customers and 241 mobile users that don't use a fixed line services, plus a survey of 1800 small business users conducted by Sensis, a subsidiary of the country's largest ISP, Telstra.
The annual Whirlpool broadband user survey, by contrast, includes the opinions of some 20,000 users.
In both 2007 and 2008, around 75 per cent of Whirlpool respondents said the customer service they get from their ISP is either "good" or "excellent", 62 per cent were "very happy" with the reliability of the connection and 77 (2007) to 79 per cent (2008) would recommend their ISP to others.
But also in 2008, about one in three Whirlpool survey respondents said their ISP plan was too expensive.
The Whirlpool survey also showed that three in four respondents (75 per cent) favour a Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) National Broadband Network (2008), and 69 per cent would prefer the Federal Government to build it (2007).