Regional cities such as Geraldton (Western Australia), Mt Gambier (South Australia), Broken Hill (New South Wales), Mildura (Victoria), Mt Isa (Queensland) and Darwin (Northern Territory) are among those where only one company (presumably Telstra) provides backhaul services.
The government's plans for the National Broadband Network require improvements to the entire network, not just the final connection to individual premises.
Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, today released a "stakeholder consultation paper" to assist the process of identifying and prioritising locations.
The government is also seeing input on on technical parameters associated with the rollout and arrangements for funding, the delivery of services and the ownership of the infrastructure.
Tenders will be called "shortly after" after the consultation process closes in mid-May.
The government has allocated $250 million to improving regional broadband links.
"This $250 million investment demonstrates how serious we are about immediate improvement for services in regional and rural Australia and will contribute to the immediate stimulus impact of the National Broadband Network," said Conroy.