Feds kickstart rural broadband

The federal government is kick-starting rural broadband with a $250 million initiative

The federal government has moved to fast track the development of the National Broadband Network in regional Australia.

The $250 million initiative will provide backbone fibre-optic cable in areas that have only one backhaul provider.

Those areas include Geraldton in Western Australia, Mt Gambier in South Australia, Broken Hill in NSW, Mildura in Victoria, Mt Isa in Queensland and Darwin in the Northern Territory.

“This $250 million investment demonstrates how serious we are about immediate improvement for services in regional and rural Australia,” said the minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy in a statement.

“High speed broadband will revitalize our regions, provide new job opportunities, drive efficiencies and improve the delivery of social services,” he said.

The minister has released a stakeholder consultation paper to drive the regional backhaul initiative.

Submissions for the stakeholder paper are due by May 12. The minister said that a competitive tender process will commence shortly after this deadline.

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Joshua Gliddon

Computerworld
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