The idea to make universal rural access a key part of the NBN makes about as much sense as saying we are going to build a national rail grid covering all cities and rural Australia.
The whole rural porkbarrel is a complete drain on the 99.6% of people that don’t live there and therefore the potential of the country as a whole. This kind of political-opportunistic decision-making certainly stamps Rudd as just another of the long-line of those in power and will hold us back for another decade in the digital world.
Rural people are certainly entitled to access, private enterprise should provide it, and it should be subsidised through direct payments, not unlike social security payments, to a level necessary to get the private players to play rural. That allows those players to concentrate on their job and the whole accounting process is transparent.
That’s a whole different thing to dragging down a broadband initiative with more political cowtowing to rural politics.