The Rudd Government's Budget has seen further funds allocated to help build the National Broadband Network (NBN), including $16 million for a two-year advertising campaign about the project.
The Department of Broadband Communication and the Digital Economy will receive a total of $12.9 million over the next four years to help administer the NBN, plus an extra $8.4 million over the next two years to begin "a national information campaign, focused on raising public awareness of the value of super fast broadband."
Paul Budde, managing director of independent telecommunications research organisation BuddeComm, believes that yesterday's announcements didn't provide new information about what the NBN will contain.
"The Rudd Government missed an opportunity in yesterday's Budget to explain to the Australian people what the NBN specifically contains: what is the NBN? What exactly does it contain?" he told GoodGearGuide. "What’s also missing is the NBN’s possible role in e-health and the digital economy."
The Government also revealed that it would provide $24 million over five years to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to establish and administer the proposed regulatory arrangements for the NBN. This will include regulations on price, terms and conditions of accessing the NBN and also provide advice to the government on regulatory matters.
The Rudd Government hopes to raise $300 million from the sale of Aussie Infrastructure Bonds in the next financial year to help fund the NBN, which is estimated to cost around $43 billion. This follows the $4.7 billion dollars that the Government has already pumped into the NBN in last year's Budget.
"$43 billion is too much for just faster Internet in my opinion but the NBN is much more than that. I don’t think the Government has revealed all the policies behind the NBN and what it could be used for," Budde said.
Budde added that progress has been made on the NBN project since it was announced a year ago, saying that "the NBN will create a much richer environment for ISPs and consumers."