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.
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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.