First stage of NBN rollout starts in Tasmania

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments announced yesterday that the first stage of the National Broadband Network rollout in Tasmania has begun with the release of an open competitive tender for fibre optic cable by Aurora Energy.

This first stage rollout is set to deliver wholesale-only, open access broadband network services in the second quarter of 2010.

“Today’s announcement follows a huge amount of preparation including design and planning undertaken by Aurora Energy to enable procurement to start in advance of construction,” said David Bartlett, Premier of Tasmania.

Stephen Conroy, minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, commented at how this rollout will help quell the disadvantages Tasmania has had in the past.

“In partnership with the Tasmanian Government and Aurora Energy, we are working to deliver superfast broadband services to address the lack of parity in available services compared to mainland Australia,” he said.

“Tasmania has a long standing disadvantage in accessing high speed broadband and is the logical test bed for this nation-building National Broadband Network project.”

A memorandum of understanding has been undertaken between the NBN and Aurora Energy and a new company (TNBN Co) will be established to undertake the project. TNBN will be a subsidiary of NBN Co jointly owned by Aurora Technology.

It will be responsible for constructing a fibre-to-the-premises network to deliver speeds of 100 megabits per second, to 200,000 Tasmanian households and businesses.

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