The US-based co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, said Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) was “a great model” but believed his home country will never adopt a ubiquitous high-speed broadband network that is accessible to all citizens.
He was speaking at the Australian Chambers Business Congress in the Gold Coast.
With an engineering background, Wozniak along with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Inc in 1978. The company blossomed into the consumer electronics giants of modern day. Wozniak, who is known as one of the key innovators for personal computers left Apple in 1987.
Commenting on Australia's NBN project, he noted it has been a long time coming for the country.
"When I was here a few years ago, the attitude [in terms of broadband] was 'Telstra is letting us down! It's expensive and slow and the company is not making Australia number one in the world'", Wozniak said at a press briefing. "So the Australian people really felt high-speed broadband was a key part of the future and they were getting left behind.
"I think the Australian Government finally recognised that recently and that is why it is putting in this network."
While he lauded the NBN, Wozniak lamented on the idea the US would never rollout a ubiquitous high-speed broadband network.
"I'm really negative about the prospects; I'm never going to get broadband at my home," he said. The Apple co-founder currently uses an LTE Wifi device from his local mobile telco.
"There is no requirement to run broadband to me because I'm a kilometre out of town and up the hill," Wozniak said. "I don't think it will every happen and I've spoken to the chairman of the FCC about these complaints."
He noted many US presidents since the advent of broadband have committed to implementing high-speed Internet access for all citizens but none has ever delivered.
"I find it very frustrating because when I was growing up there was a [telecommunications] monopoly and regulations said if you're a monopoly in a geographic area, you have to run a phone line to every house," Wozniak said. "Now there is a monopoly for broadband but [the company] doesn't have any requirement to run broadband to everybody.