As the NBN is nearing closer to being awarded, a report has been compiled in the United States about the prospects of take up by the community if a similar rollout was to occur.

The Obama administration has already committed $US6b (A$10b) to the expansion of Fibre to the Home in regional America, and when Obama was a Senator he co-sponsored the 100Mbit nation - a strategy to rollout 100Mbps to the majority of the United States.

The report, released yesterday by Pew Internet and American Life Project found that even if high-speed Internet service was available to the entire nation, about one-third of Americans not currently using broadband still wouldn't because of the expense.

The report was based on two surveys of 4,254 people last year and illustrates a potential hang-up in President Obama's goal to bring broadband Internet to rural and other under served areas: If they build it, it's not clear that people will come.

Will the same apply to regional Australia? The Rudd government has been pushing a rollout to 98% of households and business in Australia, which could add significant cost to the rollout. If only a 66% take up is achieved can the networks be rollout out and achieve its financial goals. In my opinion the target should have been 87% which would have covered the top 50 cities in Australia.

"There are multiple reasons why people don't have broadband, and the hope is that if you are a policymaker you would take away from this report that a focus on availability and price will only get you part of the way there," said John Horrigan, an associate director of research at the Pew project and author of the report.

The nonprofit group One Economy has urged lawmakers to include provisions in a stimulus plan that would renovate public housing so that all units in a building would have access to a shared data network, thereby reducing monthly costs per home by several dollars a month. Rey Ramsey, chief executive of One Economy, said prices of about $10 or less per month is the threshold for greater adoption.


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