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Government scraps NBN tender

08 April, 2009
By Allison Orr

The Federal Government has terminated the tender process for the National Broadband Network (NBN).  Instead the government will create a new company, the National Broadband Network Corporation, and seek partners from the private sector to build a $43 billion network.

In addition, the plan now has more ambitious aims.  The original objective of the plan was to roll out fibre to the node to 98 per cent of the population, offering network speeds of a minimum of 12 megabits per second (mbps).  The plan now is to roll out fibre to 90 per cent of Australian homes, schools and workplaces, offering broadband speeds  of 100mbps, around 4 times faster than what is currently available.  The other 10 per cent will be serviced via wireless and satellite technologies.  Mr Rudd has described the network as the single biggest infrastructure project in Australian history.  It is expected to support up to 25,000 local jobs each of the eight years of the construction phase.

The initiative also represents the biggest reform in telecommunications in two decades by separating the infrastructure providers and retail service providers.  This will be Australia's first national wholesale, open access network not controlled by Telstra," Mr Rudd said.

There has been almost unanimous praise for the government’s decision to form a company to build the network.  However, the Opposition described the project as a monumental policy failure

For full details, see the New National Broadband Network media release.

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