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What is the national broadband network?

March 28, 2010 | Jawa Technologies

On the 7th of April, 2009, the Australian Government announced that it would establish a new company to invest up to 43 billion dollars over eight years to deliver "superfast" broadband to Australian homes and workplaces.

The government has established a government business enterprise, NBN Co Limited, to design, build and operate an Open Access Network.

The government describes the National Broadband Network as "the largest single nation-building infrastructure project in Australian history" and it's hoped it will play a significant part in building and transforming the economy.

In it's best realisation, the new network will connect homes, schools and workplaces with optical fibre, providing broadband services in both urban and regional centres with speeds of 100 megabits per second - 100 times faster than the majority of what is used today.

If it works, this will mean not just faster connection to Twitter for your kids, but lightening speed connection between rural/remote areas to major cities, transforming the way all Australians do business, improve education and health service delivery and stimulate employment, education and the economy.

Things have progressed far since April in 2009, and to date the design phase is well underway.

Earlier this month, Minister Conroy and the CEO of NBN Co, Mike Quigley, announced the first five sites to receive high-speed broadband on mainland Australia. Among the list of five are Brunswick in Victoria, Townsville, Minnamurra, Kiama Downs, Willunga in South Australia and an area west of Armidale in NSW, including the University of New England.

Following the design phase, actual construction work on the test sites will be delivered in a staged roll out beginning in the second half of this year.

Senator Conroy said the announcement would build on work already underway in the delivery of the NBN.

"Two weeks ago I launched construction of the Regional Backbone Blacksopts Program in Mt Isa, which will provide the communication links that connect our towns, citites and rural areas to each other and the world," Senator Conroy said.