Thursday, December 3, 2009

Australia Funds First Building Blocks of National Broadband Network

The Australian government signed an agreement with Nextgen Networks to construct the new broadband backbone infrastructure under the $250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program. The investment represents the first building blocks of the National Broadband Network on mainland Australia.

Under the contract signed by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, Nextgen will build backbone transmission links and provide more than 100 access points en-route to six priority blackspot locations:

  • Geraldton, Western Australia.

  • Darwin, Northern Territory.

  • Emerald and Longreach, Queensland.

  • Broken Hill, New South Wales.

  • Victor Harbor, South Australia.

  • South West Gippsland, Victoria.

These priority locations were chosen following a public consultation process to identify competition and capacity shortfalls. In addition, assistance will be provided to regional communities to take full advantage of the new infrastructure through $5 million funding for regional NBN coordinators.

"These regional backbones are the first building blocks of the National Broadband Network on the mainland and will stimulate competition and better broadband services across regional Australia," stated Senator Conroy.
  • In July 2009, the Australian government appointed Mike Quigley as the Executive Chairman of the company established to deliver the National Broadband Network (NBNCo). Quigley most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Alcatel-Lucent.

  • Earlier this year, the Rudd Government announce plans for a new national broadband network linking every house, school and business in Australia with affordable fast broadband. The plan calls for the government to set-up a new entity that would install fiber connections to ninety percent of Australian homes and businesses over an eight year period. The network will deliver wholesale services of 100 Mbps or better.

See also