Conroy: Public NBN sentiments untarnished by criticism

Despite recent criticism of the NBN, public support continues to grow according to the Communications Minister.

Despite increasing amounts of criticism of the National Broadband Network (NBN) by industry figures, public opinion of the $36 billion remains high, according to Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy.

Last week at the CommsDay Summit 2011, AAPT CEO, Paul Broad, Internode managing director, Simon Hackett and NextDC CEO, Bevan Slattery, spoke out against the NBN.

Slattery claimed the NBN is “turning toxic” since the Federal Government has backflipped on many promises related to the network’s operation.

iiNet and Internode had both raised concerns over anti-cherry picking laws since the provisions would hamper upgrade on existing high-speed networks.

But such criticisms have not dampened public sentiment for the NBN, according to Senator Conroy.

The Minister was attending the launch of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) NBN consumer guide.

“Public support continues to be strong for the NBN because most people recognise the existing service they are getting isn’t good enough,” he said.

“What wins the debate is people know their existing service isn’t up to scratch and can’t sustain what we use it for today and the future.”

Senator Conroy singled out Sydney as dancing to a “conservative drum beat” that only concentrates on anti-NBN messages.

“It’s not the same in the rest of the country,” he said.

The NBN has suffered a setback last week when it suspended a key tender process after accusing 14 construction firms of “price gouging”. There are fears this move will delay the network construction and add extra cost.

NBN Co construction head, Patrick Flannigan, resigned several days later.

Today, NBN Co announced the 12 ISPs participating in the NBN mainland trial.

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