The Australian and Tasmanian Governments today announced the start of the first stage of the rollout of the National Broadband Network in Tasmania with the release of an open competitive tender for fibre optic cable by Aurora Energy.

The first stage of the NBN rollout will deliver wholesale-only, open access broadband network services in the second quarter of 2010, and will provide valuable learnings for the benefit of the wider rollout of the network on the mainland of Australia.

It will commence with procurement activities for equipment and resources, with physical rollout beginning shortly.

"Today’s announcement follows a huge amount of preparation including design and planning undertaken by Aurora Energy to enable procurement to start in advance of construction," said Mr Bartlett, Premier of Tasmania.

"In partnership with the Tasmanian Government and Aurora Energy, we are working to deliver superfast broadband services to address the lack of parity in available services compared to mainland Australia," said Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

"Tasmania has a long standing disadvantage in accessing high speed broadband and is the logical test bed for this nation-building National Broadband Network project."

This first step in the building of the National Broadband Network demonstrates the Australian and Tasmanian Government’s commitment to the early rollout of high speed broadband for Tasmanians, as announced in early April this year.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the parties has been signed, and a new company (TNBN Co) will be established to undertake the project.

TNBN Co will be a subsidiary of NBN Co jointly owned by Aurora Energy.

TNBN Co will construct a fibre-to-the-premises network to deliver speeds of 100 megabits per second, to 200,000 Tasmanian households and businesses.

The remainder of premises will be served by next-generation wireless or satellite services, offering speeds of 12 megabits per second or more.

Today’s announcement coincided with the formal launch by Mr Bartlett and Senator Conroy of the commercialisation of the Basslink fibre connection between Tasmania and Melbourne, another critical milestone in ensuring a clever and connected Tasmania.

The optic fibre cable tender details are now available on the Tasmanian Government’s Treasury website at and advertisements will be placed in national newspapers on Saturday.


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