Death, taxes, power, water ... and broadband? Poll says yes

Australians, who are very publicly struggling with the idea of building a National Broadband Network (a political football more volatile than any Cowboys-Redskins game), now are being told that broadband is a utility--and therefore a guaranteed right-like water and power. This comes thanks to a broadband comparison website, Compare Broadband, which asked site visitors whether broadband is as necessary as utilities.

A huge majority of 78 percent (temper the surprise with the idea that these were online visitors) said yes. Twenty-two percent said no. Nobody was undecided.

Compare Broadband's general manager Scott Kennedy brought some clarity to the results by agreeing that Australians would rather have water, gas or electricity than broadband but "the response to the poll clearly shows the importance of a broadband connection to everyday Australians." A similar poll in the U.S., incidentally, showed a lack of interest in broadband as a national service.

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