Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity
National Broadband Network: First Year Achievements
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy said in the 12 months since the Rudd Government announced the National Broadband Network (NBN) significant progress had been made.
On 7 April 2009 the Rudd Government announced that a new company, NBN Co, would be established to build and operate a new, wholesale-only, open access, superfast broadband network.
"The NBN is the largest nation-building project in our history that will transform our economy, drive future growth and productivity and help our children get the best education in the world," Senator Conroy said.
"Under the NBN, every home, business, school and hospital will receive high speed broadband and no one will miss out."
The NBN will connect 90% of premises with Fibre-to-the-Premises technology providing speeds of 100Mbps, and remaining premises with next generation wireless and satellite services that will deliver 12Mbps or more.
The NBN will support 25,000 jobs every year, on average, over the life of the eight year project.
"The NBN initiative delivers on and exceeds the Rudd Government's broadband election commitment. It will transform Australia's broadband infrastructure and ensure that every Australian consumer and business has access to affordable high speed broadband services," Senator Conroy said.
Rollout in Tasmania
The rollout in Tasmania commenced late last year with the construction of key optical fibre backbone links.
From July this year, as part of the Stage 1 rollout, three Tasmanian towns in one of the most neglected broadband markets in Australia will start receiving high-speed broadband services delivered by NBN using fibre to the premise technology. The three towns are Smithton, Midway Point and Scottsdale.
Work is also continuing on the planning of the Stage 2 and Stage 3 rollouts that will connect approximately 100,000 premises, including in seven targeted locations and the major population centres of Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie.
On 1 March 2010, the Rudd Government announced an equity injection of $100 million into NBN Tasmania to facilitate the further roll out of fibre-to-the-premise broadband in Tasmania.
On 15 March 2010, Senator Conroy officially opened the Mornington Proof-of-Concept Test Centre and announced the first retail service providers; Primus, Internode and iiNet, who will work with NBN Tasmania to deliver broadband services.
NBN Regional Backbone Blackspots Program
In December last year, under the $250 million NBN Regional Backbone Blackspots program, the Rudd Government signed an agreement with Nextgen Networks to construct new optical fibre regional backbone links to six priority regional locations.
These six priority locations of Geraldton (WA), Darwin (NT), Emerald and Longreach (QLD), Broken Hill (NSW), Victor Harbor (SA) and South West Gippsland (VIC) were selected after public consultation.
Under this program, approximately 6000km of optical fibre backbone will be laid, benefitting more than 100 regional locations and approximately 400,000 people. The project is also expected to create 1,000 full time equivalent jobs.
These represent the first building blocks of the NBN on mainland Australia.
In February 2010, Senator Conroy launched the start of construction in Mt Isa and the rollout is progressing well. Construction activities on all of the links are underway.
NBN Co First Release Sites – Mainland Australia
On 2 March 2010, NBN Co announced the first five sites to receive high speed broadband on mainland Australia, as part of the NBN.
The first release sites will be used to test network design and construction methods and will provide crucial information to assist in the roll out of the NBN.
NBN Co chose the first release sites based on a range of criteria such as demographics, climate, existing infrastructure and terrain, to ensure the physical roll out of the NBN is as smooth as possible.
The first release sites are:
- A part of the suburb of Brunswick in Melbourne;
- An area of Townsville covering parts of the suburbs of Aitkenvale and Mundingburra;
- The coastal communities of Minnamurra and Kiama Downs south of Wollongong;
- An area of west Armidale, NSW, including the University of New England; and
- The rural town of Willunga in South Australia.
NBN Co industry consultations
NBN Co has commenced and undertaken a number of consultations with industry and potential suppliers. Specifically, NBN Co has:
- Undertaken a number of multi-lateral and bi-lateral consultations sessions on product design;
- Commenced consultation with respect to technical, operational and construction approaches;
- Released its initial views on the wholesale bitstream product that NBN Co plans to offer, reviewed over 50 submissions on this topic and released a response to these submissions;
- Released a Request for Capability Statement for providers to deliver a next generation satellite solution to service regional Australia; and
- Released a Request for Capability Statement for the design and construction of the Fibre Access Network.
Date: 7 April 2010
Contact: Suzie Brady 0408 258 457