Government shamed by Australian broadband pledge
The Australian Government has pledged to deliver 100Mbits/sec broadband to 90% of its population by 2017, despite struggling to convince the industry of the benefits.
Speaking at CeBIT, Senator Kate Lundy outlined Australia’s ambitious broadband plans, putting the British Government’s 2Mbits/sec broadband pledge to shame in the process.
“We have a commitment that every Australian citizen will have access to at least 12Mbits/sec broadband, with 90% of Australians being reached by a fibre to their premises and able to access a 100Mbits/sec.”
Before making this commitment we went to the market and requested proposals for a national broadband network. Unfortunately no proposal came back that offered value for money
According to Lundy, the project will cost 43 billion Australian dollars, and represents the largest infrastructure commitment made by an Australian government in the country’s history.
“Before making this commitment we went to the market and requested proposals for a national broadband network. Unfortunately no proposal came back that offered value for money,” she said.
“This market failure created a once in a lifetime opportunity to innovate, to level the ISP playing field and correct past market failures and to exponentially improve the services available to all Australians.
“We’ve been careful to make sure this network will be wholesale-only, to maximise competition and innovation at the delivery and applications level.”
Alongside this pledge, Lundy also announced that the Australian government was pledging 2.2 billion Australian dollars “to place a computer into the hands of all upper secondary school students.”
“We understand the importance of a fast, reliable and future-proof network for education, for the community, for health, for business, for government and for new public good innovations that haven’t even been dreamt of yet.