Kevin Rudd has announced that the NBN tender process has been terminated, and that the government will go it alone on a new $43 billion broadband network using FTTP - Yes you read it right, $43 billion broadband network and FTTP!

Calling it the "single largest infrastructure decision in Australia's history", Rudd said the project would employ 47,000 people and help stimulate the Australian economy. Private industry would contribute up to 49% of the funds and the government would sell the company after operating it for 5 years.

Extracting the announcement from the DBCDE web site:

* establish a company to build and operate the network and make an initial investment of $4.7 billion in the network

* commence an implementation study to determine the company's operating arrangements, detailed network design and ways to attract private sector investment

* fast-track negotiations with the Tasmanian Government, as suggested by the Panel of Experts, to build upon its National Broadband Network proposal to begin the rollout a FTTP network and next generation wireless services in Tasmania as early as July

* implement measures to address backhaul 'black spots' through the timely rollout of fibre optic transmission links connecting cities, major regional centres and rural towns - delivering improvements to telecommunication services in the short term

* progress legislative changes that will govern the national broadband network company and facilitate the rollout of FTTP networks, including requiring use of fibre optic technology in future greenfield developments, and

* commence a consultative process on necessary changes to the existing telecommunications regulatory regime.

It is expect to take 7-8 years to build the network which will deliver a minimum of 100Mbps to 90% of the population and 12Mbps to the remaining 10% (most likely in the regional areas). In doing so it will create some 25,000 jobs a year during construction, with 37,000 in the busiest year of construction.


At 07 April, 2009 08:52 John Rimmer said...

Great News! The government has obviously listened to the Irish travel directions: if you want to get there, don't start from here!

At 07 April, 2009 15:06 Anonymous said...

This was always the way it was going to play out. The methodology was misguided for NBN and by the time Conroy figured it out, the tender had to run its' course. Just a shame he had private industry chasing their tails for something that was never going to come to fruition. Now they can get on with focussing on serious wholesale infrastructure that will make a meaningful, long-term impact on Australia. At least I won't mind my tax dollars going towards this new project.


Post a Comment