Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has stunned a business
forum in Perth with a personal admission that no one saw
Answering a question on Australia's $36 billion national
broadband network (NBN), the American computer wizard and
engineer let it be known he didn't have broadband internet at
his home in Los Gatos, California.
"I don't have broadband at my home," Mr Wozniak said, to much
surprise in the audience.
"I, Steve Wozniak, don't have broadband at my home."
Mr Wozniak told a wry tale about a clash of second-class
infrastructure and new-age technology.
"I live one kilometre out of the main part of town," he
explained. "Broadband is a monopoly in my town - that means
you can get it from a cable company, but I don't have cable.
"There are 50 companies that want to sell me DSL, but they've
all got to go through the Horizon wires - the local phone
company - and I've got one of the two worst Horizons in the
"And so I can't get broadband in my house."
While Mr Wozniak did not comment on the politics of
Australia's NBN, he did say wireless networks were more
economical than fibre-optic networks for remote areas.
"This country is quite spread out, with a lot of remote
places," he said.
"I think in remote places, a lot of times a good answer
economically is wireless."
Federal Communications Minister Steven Conroy said Mr
Wozniak's comments backed the government's controversial
decision to build the NBN.
"Mr Wozniak's situation is exactly why the Gillard government
ended Telstra's copper network monopoly, providing real
retail competition," the minister told AAP.
"The NBN will provide all Australians with fast, affordable
broadband, either through fibre to the home, fixed wireless,
or satellite technology."