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Research Now has conducted a poll among 2,000 Australian respondents aged 18 and over to find out what is the preferred internet service provider in the country. Over 50% of Australians are currently using Telstra BigPond (34%) or Optus (19%) for their broadband internet access. The remaining 42% of respondents receive broadband access from additional providers including iiNet (8%), Dodo (3%), Westnet (1%) and "others" (30%), such as Virgin, Transact, Southern Cross and People.

Approximately 95% of the online survey respondents said they had some form of broadband internet connection in their home, but according to the BBC, the average speeds of these connections are slow compared with many industrialised countries.

In June 2011, the two telecom giants, Telstra (the parent company of BigPond) and Optus, announced that they will be joining efforts with the government to roll out a $36bn plan to provide high-speed internet access across the country through the National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co)*. The new infrastructure project will connect more than 90% of households to a super-fast network, delivering over 100 megabits per second – making it easier for those without internet access (5% of those surveyed) to receive a fast broadband service.

Due to the extensive broadband operations already in place by Telstra and Optus, the government concluded it would be more economical to bring the two entities together to avoid duplicating existing broadband infrastructure and reduce the disruption to local communities**.

The initial migration of Telstra and Optus customers to the new infrastructure is reported to commence in 2014, and is expected to take a maximum of four years to complete***. During this transition phase, Telstra and Optus will close down their infrastructure and transfer customers to the state-owned National Broadband Network Company****.

Notes to Editors:

* www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13884441
** www.cio.com.au/article/392540/telstra_deal_cuts_nbn_costs_ti...
*** www.optus.com.au/aboutoptus
**** www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/media-centre/announcements/t...

About Valued Opinions

The poll was conducted online utilizing the Valued Opinions Panel between 15th July and 18th July, 2011 among 2,000 adults aged 18 and over. Owned and operated by Research Now, Valued Opinions is a consumer research panel made up of individuals participating in market research surveys in exchange for rewards. Through various partnerships with popular international retailers, Valued Opinions’ members can earn and redeem credits for gift vouchers accepted online and in stores. Members also have the opportunity to donate rewards to charitable causes if they choose. For more information, interested parties can visit http://www.valuedopinions.com.au/ .

About Research Now

Research Now is the leading global online sampling and online data collection company. With over 6 million panellists in 38 countries worldwide, Research Now enables companies to listen to and interact with real consumers and business decision makers in order to make key business decisions. Research Now offers a full suite of data collection services, including social media sampling, and operates leading opinion panels around the world. The company has multilingual staff located in 22 offices around the globe. Interested parties can visit http://www.researchnow.com/ to learn more.

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www.valuedopinions.co.uk

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