Wednesday, 01 July 2009 07:32

First NBN backbone tenders called

By
Although the Federal government previously suggested that the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout would begin in Tasmania, the first round tenders are all for mainland facilities.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced today that the first round of NBN expenditure would go on new backbone links to serve Emerald and Longreach (Queensland), Geraldton (Western Australia), Darwin (Northern Territory), Broken Hill (New South Wales), Victor Harbor (South Australia), and South West Gippsland (Victoria).

"The Government is moving rapidly to deliver the National Broadband Network and will start work on high-speed infrastructure for an initial six priority regional locations," said Conroy.

"This immediate action will result in new high-speed backbone links to stimulate competition and better broadband services in regional Australia," he added.

Part of the government's NBN strategy is to bring competition to areas that are under-serviced (in terms of backbone connections) by a single incumbent provider. The idea is that this will encourage more ISPs to offer broadband in these areas.

Competitive tenders for the construction, operation and maintenance of the links have been called. The government is fast-tracking the $250 million investment, and expects construction to begin by September.

"Subject to the outcome of the first round tender, more locations will be identified later in the year," added Conroy.
 

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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