Most Australians want what the National Broadband Network (NBN) promises to offer, according to an independent survey.
In a month-long poll conducted by Compare Broadband, a free-to-use website for comparing ISPs and Internet plans, users were asked what they value most in a broadband service. Of the 3366 respondents, 26 per cent favoured improved speed while 25 per cent wanted better prices; two critical components of the proposed NBN.
Compare Broadband general manager, Scott Kennedy, was surprised by the results and had expected price to take the top spot due to the global financial crisis. With Australia’s Internet standards lagging behind many developed countries, he was heartened by the Federal Governments $43 billion dollar investment in the NBN.
“I think it is encouraging the Government is setting up an NBN company and that speed came out on top in the poll,” he said. “The message is fast and cheap broadband is what people are looking for.”
Download limit was ranked third most important with 20 per cent of the votes. Connection stability and customer service polled 18 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively.
Poor customer service may have been named as a key contributor for driving up telecommunication complaint numbers in a recent industry report, but Kennedy did not see it as a deal breaker for broadband users.
“With broadband, once you get a connection active you rarely have to speak with customer service unless there is an issue or you want something changed,” he said. “I think a lot of people are disgruntled with ISPs outsourcing their customer service offshore but if there is a stable connection, customer service doesn’t really come into the equation.”
Compare Broadband is an independent for-profit organisation that carries information about more than 800 broadband plans. It uses search engine technology to display plans according to criteria set by individual users. The company is a spin-off business of consumer product comparison website, Getprice.