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PM announces billion dollar plan for broadband infrastructure

19 June, 2007
By Allison Orr

With the debate over high-speed broadband gearing up in Australia, the Prime Minister has promised a 2 billion dollar plan, "Australia Connected", that will give 99% of the Australian population access to fast and affordable broadband Internet by June 2009

The plan was announced in the Prime Minister’s Weekly Radio Address, and involves a two-tier system: with wireless technology delivering broadband to regional and rural areas funded partially by the government and partially by OPEL, a joint venture between Optus and Elders; and a fibre optic network for metropolitan areas that will be funded privately.

By providing broadband coverage for rural and regional areas at metropolitan-comparable prices, it is hoped that this plan will lessen the digital divide in Australia between the bush and the cities, with this plan to cover up to 9.5 million premises and eliminate all broadband blackspots.

For more information: Ministor for Communications Helen Coonan, Media Release: Australia Connected
Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile, Podcast: High Speed Broadband
See also ALP Response: Government's Broadband Plan Will Leave Regions Behind

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