Home & Office

85 percent of voters support the NBN

Likely Labor voters both support and oppose the project in the higher numbers, while proportionally, Liberal voters give the NBN the highest level of support.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The National Broadband Network (NBN) continues to have widespread support throughout the electorate, with an exclusive ZDNet survey undertaken by Metapoll revealing that the project currently enjoys clear majority support with Australians.

The survey reveals that 86 percent of the sample back the NBN, with only 15 percent against the project. The results excluded those that responded with "don't know".

Conducted over the week of May 15 to 21, the survey asked: "Based on what you've heard, do you support or oppose the National Broadband Network (NBN), and will it influence your vote at the upcoming federal election?"

Broken down by voting intention, the results showed that 50 percent of respondents back the NBN and were more likely to vote for the Labor party at the upcoming election, while 9 percent of respondents said they were more likely to go with Labor but were against the NBN.

36 percent of respondents said they were more likely to vote for the Liberal party and supported the NBN, and 6 percent said they were opposed to the NBN and more likely to vote Liberal.

The results by gender showed that 54 percent of female respondents were for the NBN and more likely to vote Labor, with 33 percent also backing it but likely to vote Liberal. Of those female respondents against the NBN, 8 percent were more likely to vote for Labor, with 5 percent more inclined to vote Liberal.

For men, support among likely Labor voters sat at 47 percent, with those more likely to back the Liberal party and support the NBN coming in at 37 percent. 10 percent of men who said they were more likely to vote Labor were against it, with 7 percent of more likely Liberal votes also against it.

The survey was conducted online with a sample size of 1,008 respondents, weighted to match Australia's demographic profile.

In the latter part of the survey period, the NBN found itself front and centre in the election campaign after the Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation into leaked confidential documents out of the company responsible for the NBN led to the execution of two search warrants last Thursday night.

During the raid on the offices of former Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy and the home of a Labor staffer, an NBN employee was revealed to have taken 32 photos of the documents, and sent the photos to other NBN employees.

The documents at the centre of the furore are currently with the Senate clerk, and await the next sitting of the upper house to determine whether Labor's claim of parliamentary privilege on the documents applies. That sitting will occur after the July 2 election.

The raids followed a number of leaks over the past six months: In November, a leaked document revealed that Optus' HFC network is "not fully fit for purpose", while a leak in December said the cost to replace or repair the legacy copper network would amount to AU$641 million.

This was followed in February with the release of a document showing the rollout was seriously delayed and costing more to connect each premises. In subsequent months, documents appeared saying NBN had been working with smaller kit that is cheaper and removes the need to deploy fibre distribution hub cabinets, and the government's preferred fibre-to-the-node rollout was delayed in 40 areas.

Editorial standards