Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced today that the Australian government would go ahead and build the countries largest high-speed broadband network providing speeds of up to 100mbit to 90% of the country. Many commentators and industry figures saw the decision as bringing an end to Telstra’s monopoly of telecommunications infrastructure.
The big deal is that the Australian government will be the largest stakeholder in the network owning 51% of it, the remaining 49% will be owned by basically anyone who wants a piece of the action. The government will make available bonds to the public/private sector and even to private residents (similarly to what Telstra did about 10 years ago).
By 2011, most Australian’s will already have access to a 100 megabit per second connection via a variety of technologies, while the Government will only be one year into the (network) rollout Source: Duncan Riley
This new broadband network is due to be rolled out across Tasmania this year but the rest of the country won’t have access to the network until it is completed in 2017 (est. 7-8yrs).
That’s a long wait, but it should give us a lot of flexibility to increase speeds quite easily once better technology comes along (and by 2017 that will probably be the case) and will shoot Australia into the top 10 nations in the world with one of the fastest (and largest) broadband networks.