Good 360
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Politics, Social Innovation

NBN Needs Tough Rules to Reduce Digital Divide


Thursday, 8th September 2011 at 11:11 am
Staff Reporter
The National Broadband Network risks contributing further to the digital divide if tough rules regarding fair treatment and financial hardship are not ensured according the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).


Thursday, 8th September 2011
at 11:11 am
Staff Reporter


1 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
NBN Needs Tough Rules to Reduce Digital Divide
Thursday, 8th September 2011 at 11:11 am

The National Broadband Network risks contributing further to the digital divide if tough rules regarding fair treatment and financial hardship are not ensured according the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin says 14% of the population aged 14 years and older currently do not have access to the Internet in their home or on their mobile phones, of which 42% reported that having Internet at home was simply too expensive.

Corbin says there has not been a credible discussion on affordability, because there has been no recognition of the difference between cheaper and affordable.

Corbin was speaking at the ACCAN national conference held in Sydney over September 7-8 titled Our Broadband Future.

Currently, Telstra has a legislative responsibility to provide a landline telephone to any Australian who wants one in their home. However, Corbin says it is unclear whether there will be any similar legislation regarding fair treatment and financial hardship around the NBN, or whether the market will be left to decide.

Opening the conference, the Minister for Communications, Steven Conroy said the broadband network will enhance the lives of all Australians who will be able to participate in the digital economy and reap its rewards.

However, Teresa Corbin says that even if there are almost perfect levels of competition that any economist would be happy with, the market will not deliver a level of affordability that will allow every Australian to have access to a broadband service, which is a problem, because internet access is no longer a luxury that is handy to have if you’ve got the money, it is essential.

Communications spokesman for the Australian Greens, Senator Scott Ludlum says he is unashamedly a supporter of the NBN, but warned that it needed to be kept publicly owned.

It’s future proof, built for technologies that haven’t even been invented yet, says Ludlum, and it’s important that a network is put together that will take Australia into the 21st century rather than leave a legacy.

However, the Shadow Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull says that the NBN is a bad deal for tax payers and a bad deal for consumers.

He says Internet prices have come down because of competition, then $50 billion or more of tax payer dollars is spent to build a new government monopoly and eliminate competition and that will see prices going up, so the Internet will become less affordable, rather than more affordable.

Corbin says that ACCAN does not have a position on the different party’s communications policies, but that their role is just to represent the consumers.

The NBN has already begun rolling out across Tasmania and is in the process of being introduced in the mainland. The Federal Government will be undertaking a public information and education campaign to inform Australians about how the network will be built and what steps will need to be taken to migrate across.

Pro Bono Australia is a media partner of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network National Conference on Our Broadband Future, 7-8 September 2011.

Follow the ACCAN conversation on twitter by using the hashtag #ACCAN11  



FEATURED SUPPLIERS


Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Charities and NFPs Call for Indigenous Voice to Parliament

Luke Michael

Monday, 6th November 2017 at 1:38 pm

Cross Sector Alliance Forms To End Digital Divide

Rachel McFadden

Thursday, 3rd August 2017 at 8:25 am

SA On the Wrong Side of Digital Divide

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 9th March 2017 at 4:06 pm

POPULAR

Red Cross Moves to Wage-Based Fundraising Model

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 8:30 am

Concerns Raised Over New ACNC Board Appointments

Luke Michael

Monday, 20th November 2017 at 2:28 pm

Disability Advocacy Group Fights to Restore State Funding

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th November 2017 at 8:37 am

New Same-Sex Marriage Bill Looks to Protect Faith-Based Charities

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th November 2017 at 5:25 pm

One Comment

  • Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I sort of agree with Turnbull in this manner. I just can’t see how efficient internet will be when operated by the government. Better privatized, like for exampled, Optus or NewSat.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Good 360
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!