Feeds

Aussies get gov-backed uber-broadband

Women will glow, men will chunder

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has created a public private partnership to sort out the country's shonky broadband network.

Rudd promises to link 90 per cent of Aussie homes, schools and businesses with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. The remaining ten per cent of premises will get wireless or satellite links with speeds of up to 12 megabits.

The government is establishing a company to build the fibre network which it expects to cost $43bn (£20.8bn) and take eight years to complete. It will provide jobs for 25,000 people a year on average.

The government will be the majority shareholder but intends to sell its stake within five years of the network being completed. The cash will come from the sale of consumer Aussie Investment Bonds (AIBs) and funds from the Building Australia Fund.

Rudd said slow broadband was holding Australia back. He compared a decent fibre network with the railway networks of the 19th century.

He reckons the project is Australia's largest ever "nation-building infrastructure project". Rudd had asked for private sector bids for the work but none were considered viable.

The first step will be negotiating with Tasmania which could start its fibre to the premises network as early as July. New builds will be required to provide fibre from July 2010.

Alongside this huge investment Rudd promised wholesale telecoms reform - the public has until 3 June to make its suggestions for changes.

Australia has always suffered from slow and expensive broadband. Some of this can be blamed on geography, although incumbent telco Telstra also cops some blame.

Rudd's statement is here.

Quite how this fits in with Australian attempts to trial firewall technology that would effectively censor the internet remains to be seen. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.