Australian Government seeks proposals to build a national broadband network

Today, the Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, announced the release of a request for proposals to roll-out and operate a national broadband network.

The network represents the centrepiece of the Government’s pre-election commitments in the communications sector. The Government has committed up to $4.7 billion of public funding, and will consider any regulatory changes necessary to facilitate the network roll-out. It is expected that the network will be rolled out over the course of the next 5 years, using fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-premises technology. The network is expected to be ‘open access’, with access terms and conditions to be a key part of proposal assessment.

The Government has appointed a panel of expert advisers to assess proposals, and the panel is expected to report to the Government towards the end of 2008 as to a preferred tenderer.

A team from Frontier Australia and Frontier Europe will be advising the Department and expert panel on the economic and regulatory issues associated with the tender process.

For more information, please contact Marita O’Keeffe at m.okeeffe@frontier-economics.com or call on +61 (0)3 9620 4488.

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