Small business slams NBN CEO over no need for speed comments
QUEENSLAND'S Chamber of Commerce and Industry has slammed NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow for saying Australians wouldn't use super fast broadband, even if it was offered for free.
Mr Morrow made the comments on Thursday as he announced the state owned enterprise's half yearly financial report - which showed NBN Co lost more than $1 billion in the 2015-16 financial year.
Mr Morrow noted part of the problem was that uptake of NBN Co's top-tier service had been very slow.
In May 2016 The Australian reported that NBN Co had been unable to find a service provider willing to sell its top speed package and had only been able to find a buyer to take it on as part of a trial.
Additionally at that point in time 33 per cent of consumers were on the slowest service, offering download speeds of 12Mbps, 47 per cent were on the second-slowest of 25Mbps and just 15 per cent were using the 100Mbps service.
"Even if we offered (super-fast broadband) for free, we see the evidence around the world that they wouldn't use it anyway," Mr Morrow said last week.
Those comments have since drawn the ire of the Queensland business sector.
CCIQ Senior Policy Advisor Catherine Pham today said the comments will be met with anger and confusion - especially among small business owners - particularly in regional areas."As might be expected, businesses are reliant upon their website, with 74 per cent believing it is essential to their business and 57 per cent believing that they couldn't function easily without it, Ms Pham said. "With 69 per cent of businesses generating leads from their websites, it is clearly a critical tool for doing business." "Almost 70 per cent of businesses believe the NBN represents a good investment in Australia's commercial future and 70 per cent believe it will make a positive difference to their business. "With one in two businesses believing it will provide a competitive advantage when competing globally, comments such as Mr Morrow's are seemingly unfounded." According to reports in The Australian in September last year Mr Morrow took home $3.6 million in total remuneration in 2015-16, with his bonus tripling from $483,000 to $1.2 million.