Global survey shows Australia ranks poorly for broadband satisfaction


Australia has been ranked third lowest of 28 countries when it comes to satisfaction with digital infrastructure including broadband and mobile phone networks, an international poll shows.

Just 41 per cent rated the quality of Australia’s digital infrastructure “fairly or very good” which was way below the global average of 55 per cent.

More than half of the Australians surveyed (51 per cent) rated the nation’s digital infrastructure “fairly or very poor”.

The Global Infrastructure Index survey conducted by the polling firm Ipsos asked respondents how they rated the nation’s digital infrastructure including high speed broadband, full fibre networks (FTTP), and latest generation mobile phone networks.

Only Germany (30 per cent) and Italy (40 per cent) had a smaller share than Australia rating the quality their digital infrastructure “fairly or very good”.


The results follow a decade of controversy over the roll out of the $50 billion National Broadband Network project, which began in 2009.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia report found that 11 per cent of consumers continue to experience underperforming services that rarely came close to reaching their maximum plan speed.

Household data consumption is expected surge over the summer holidays.

“On Boxing Day [2018] the average amount of data consumed per household was 11.8GB which was a huge 69 per cent increase on the daily average of 6.98GB per household,” NBN Co said.

More than one-third of Australians (36 per cent) said digital infrastructure should be a priority for future investment which was equal second highest (with rail infrastructure) behind solar energy infrastructure (44 per cent).

Ipsos social researcher Daniel Evans said the results showed Australians recognise high quality digital infrastructure is an economic necessity.

“As we transition to an economic structure that is more reliant on knowledge and services, our dependence on globally competitive digital infrastructure is only going to increase,” he said.

“With our major cities absorbing the lion’s share of the nation’s population growth and the pressure this is placing on congestion and liveability more broadly, the demand for high-quality digital infrastructure that will provide citizens, industry and employers with choice as to when and how they operate is going to become more important as we transition to the new decade.”

Among the 28 nations, those in South Korea were the most satisfied with broadband infrastructure with 82 per cent rating it fairly or very good followed by China (75 per cent) and Hungary (69 per cent).

The Ipsos survey showed one in two Australian respondents (49 per cent) think the country had a “poor record at getting national infrastructure projects right” while 60 per cent said not enough is being done to meet their infrastructure needs.

Satisfaction was highest for Australia’s airport infrastructure (74 per cent rated it fairly or very good) followed by water supply and sewerage infrastructure (71 per cent fairly/very good), pavements, footpaths and pedestrian areas (65 per cent fairly/very good) and motorways and major roads (58 per cent fairly/very good).

A majority of Australians (57 per cent) would prefer technical experts rather than elected politicians (17 per cent) to make decisions about new infrastructure.

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