blog For most of the past several years, the debate between Labor and the Coalition over the future of the National Broadband Network has largely been one confined to Australia’s technology sector and technology media. This has made sense: The issue of how the NBN should be built is a complex one, after all, and not easily accessible for those of a non-technical bent. However, with the election over, there is a growing body of evidence that more mainstream dissent against the Coalition’s inferior fibre to the node-based policy is growing fast. As I write on Delimiter 2.0 this morning (subscriber content), Communications Minister-elect Malcolm Turnbull would do well to take heed of lessons from previous such community campaigns against Labor’s Internet filter and data retention policies:
“Tony Abbott’s Coalition team has finally won the Federal Election it’s been itching to fight for three very long years. But Malcolm Turnbull’s arrogant response this week to a petition calling for the Coalition to support Labor’s NBN policy shows the conservative side of politics still hasn’t learnt the lesson activists rammed down Labor’s throat in the previous Internet filter and data retention debacles: People power can get unpopular policies changed.”
This one is just not going to go away, people. The mass online petition — which is up to 216,000 names this morning — represents the fact that Australians remain overwhelmingly in support of Labor’s all-fibre NBN policy, and are not going to go quietly in the night while it is ramped back in favour of a much more limited fibre to the node rollout. When Labor was in power, this was less of an issue, as the rollout was going ahead. But now that the Coalition holds Government, there’s suddenly a new public enemy #1, when it comes to broadband. And his name is Malcolm Turnbull.
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