The Coalition believes all Australians should have access to fast and affordable broadband. We recognise the benefits that fast broadband provides to households and businesses and its value (along with other information and communication technologies) in fostering productivity and innovation.
Broadband and the Internet are essential services.
The internet’s pervasive presence in our economy and daily lives has transformed broadband into an essential service. In 2012 four out of five a Australians aged 14 years and over used the internet at least monthly, while three out of five (or almost 11 million of us) relied on it many times each day.
To unlock the benefits of the digital economy, access to broadband must be universal, so people in rural or remote areas are not disadvantaged. Broadband must be affordable, so those on lower incomes are not caught on the wrong side of a digital divide. At present this is not the case. Up to two million Australian households and businesses don’t have adequate fixed broadband – they can’t access a service or it is too slow and unreliable for basic tasks such as streaming a short video or working from home.