Several Internet service providers have backed the Federal Government’s $16 million advertising splash designed to shore-up public support for the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The government released the funds under the Federal Budget to inform taxpayers of its $43 billion broadband plan. So far the NBN will only be available in parts of Tasmania, with services set to go live this month.
NBN providers iiNet, Internode and iPrimus said the technology sector was “saturated” with opinion on the NBN and debate should be taken to the public.
“There is only so much that the industry can talk about so it is good that they are informing mums and dads,” iiNet chief regulatory officer, Steve Dalby, said.
iPrimus chief executive officer, Ravi Bhatia, said it will use the NBN as part of its branding.
He brushed off suggestions national NBN advertising — which included a full-page promotion in the Sunday Herald — was inappropriate considering many areas will not have access to the network for years.
“It’s a big investment and they have a duty to let people know where the money is going,” Bhatia said.
But the NBN plug raised the ire of some telco operators. Exetel director, John Linton, said it is “pointless to advertise something that can’t be delivered” and said the campaign was political advertising.
Linton said there was no point to promoting the NBN outside of Tasmania, and Exetel will not advertise the network services outside of Tasmania unless they are available.
A cheif technical officer for a NSW telco, who requested anonymity, said the government may have launched the national advertisements to shore-up support for the NBN and make it difficult for an Abbott government to scrap.