By Patrick Avenell
CANBERRA, ACT: The Federal Government today announced the first regional locations that will receive a $250 million priority rollout of the National Broadband Network. Senator Conroy also called for a tender to construct, operate and maintain the backbone links, with construction set to commence in September.
The first six regions named today are:
-Emerald and Longreach, Queensland
-Geraldton, Western Australia
-Darwin, Northern Territory
-Broken Hill, New South Wales
-Victor Harbour, South Australia
-South West Gippsland, Victoria
"The Government is moving rapidly to deliver the National Broadband Network and will start work on high-speed infrastructure for an initial six priority regional locations," said Senator Conroy in a statement.
"This immediate action will result in new high-speed backbone links to stimulate competition and better broadband services in regional Australia."
"This is just the beginning and the National Broadband Network will ensure high-speed broadband is also expanded to all homes, schools and workplaces across Australia."
"Backbone links are the broadband highways that connect our cities, towns and rural areas to the wider world," Senator Conroy said.
"Access to competitive backbone infrastructure on an open access, equivalent basis will allow retail broadband providers to expand further into regional areas."
"These projects will kick-start the first of 25,000 local jobs that will be directly supported by the eight-year National Broadband Network rollout."
"Submissions from a wide range of stakeholders have helped the Government identify the first six priority locations for these initial backbone infrastructure investments. However, it should be clear that National Broadband Network backbone infrastructure investment will not be limited to these individual locations and routes."
"Subject to the outcome of the first round tender, more locations will be identified later in the year."