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Broadband Key Component of Australian Election

in Australia/Fiber/International by

WASHINGTON, September 9, 2010 – The national broadband network was a key issue in the recent Australian election, with the Parliament evenly split. The Labor and Liberal parties each had 72 seats with two independents.

The independents choose to side with the Labor party mainly due to their all-fiber approach to the national broadband network.

Tony Windsor, one of the independents, said: “The issues that I thought were critical to this, and possibly the most critical, was broadband. There’s an enormous opportunity for regional Australians to engage with the infrastructure of this century and to pass up that opportunity and miss the opportunity for millions of country Australians, I thought, was too good an opportunity to miss.”

The Labor proposal was to create a gigabit backbone network on which internet service providers can provide service. The Liberal party in contrast intended to setup a wireless network.

Australians Refuse to Give NBN Permission to Dig Trenches

in Australia/Fiber/International by

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2010 – This month, the Australian government began to implement its National Broadband Network but it has faced some minor opposition. In Tasmania, nearly half of the residents and businesses have yet to give permission to the government to install fiber connections.

Map of Australia highlighting the location of ...

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The installation of the fiber is free for all residents and businesses, but requires the owners to consent to the digging of the trenches. Those residents who refuse to have the trenches installed will then have to pay for the trenches to be dug when the copper network is disabled. The NBN plans to disable the nations copper based connection in the next eight years and the new fiber network will become the nation’s telecommunications backbone.

NBN Chief Executive Officer Mike Quigley said, “We do not want anyone within the First Release Sites to miss out on the opportunity to take their first step into a high speed future. When the network goes live people with the installed fiber optic cable will be able to choose a service from retail service providers and connect their premises to the National Broadband Network.”

The NBN network will provide 93 percent of the public speeds of 100 megabit per second down with the remaining 7 percent getting speeds of 12 mbps.

Australian Executive Slams High Cost Estimates for National Broadband Network

in International by

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2010 – In a statement released today, Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) Co-Chief Executive Mike Quigley called recent estimates of the network’s startup cost “nonsense.” While most mainstream estimates of the cost to build Australia’s new network range from $43 billion to $60 billion, Quigley insisted that the actual cost of the network would run closer to $30 billion.

National Broadband Network Co-Chief Executive Mike Quigley

“”For the record, the amount of money that the government will need to put into this project, which comes from our business case and aligns closely with the implementation study, will be south of $30 billion,” Quigley said. “$43 billion is a different number.”

Quigley’s statement comes just as the NBN is considering an $11 billion cooperation agreement with Telstra, a private telecommunications company, for assistance in building Australia’s national network. Telstra already has infrastructure available to run the network, supporters of the agreement argue that it could bolster revenues for the NBN, while cutting down operating costs. Quigley, however, remained skeptical.

“People who keep talking about commercial returns have lost the focus that this is a big national asset that is being built by the government,” Quigly said. “No commercial entity would do this, and you wouldn’t expect them to, because their job is to get the highest possible return for their shareholders.”

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