True broadband policy in Australia

This entry is about the Australian broandband plan that was presented a couple of months ago. The report is taken from The voice of broadband and I have highlighted the most important points.

For me, the most relevant conclusion is the fact that they plan to deploy a wholesale open access operator.

Australia Changes Course on National Broadband Network

Last month, the Australian Government announced plans to develop a next-generation National Broadband Network through a public-private partnership.  This announcement follows a failed effort to have a consortium build that National Broadband Network.

The Australian government announced that it would establish a new company that will invest up to $43 billion (AUD) over 8 years to build and operate a National Broadband Network. They want to:

  • connect 90 percent of all Australian homes, schools and workplaces with broadband services with speeds up to 100 Mbps.
  • connect all other premises in Australia with next generation wireless and satellite technologies that will deliver broadband speeds of 12 megabits per second
  • directly support up to 25,000 local jobs every year, on average, over the 8 year life of the project.

It is the belief the government that nationwide access to next generation networks is vital for Australia’s future economic prosperity.

According the government, there is not enough competition in Australia to drive investment and that previous policy (which favored the incumbent operator) has stifled investment by alternative operators over the last decade.

The government has specified that this NBN will be based on fiber-to-the-home and supplemented by next generation wireless (LTE) and next-generation satellite technology. The government will also commit funds to upgrade the backhaul networks to address any “black-spots”.  It also states that from July 1, 2010 all new estate developments will be required to install fiber optic networks to homes and workplaces.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the NBN will be a wholesale-only, open access network that is expected to drastically change the competitive environment in Australia.  As such and to insure its success the Government will be reforming its current telecommunications policies.

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