Minister for Broadband, Senator Stephen Conroy, has thrown a further $100 million into Tasmania’s National Broadband Network (NBN) as it prepares for a stage three rollout.
The first two stages are part of the Federal Government’s $43 billion broadband initiative and entailed extending optic fibre backbone to regional areas which have been deprived of high-speed Internet services. NBNco subsidiary, NBN Tasmania, teamed up with Aurora Energy for the implementation process.
Stage three will see Tasmania’s urban centres, Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, receive fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) for increased Internet speeds. According to Senator Conroy, the implementation will reach out to 90,000 premises: 40,000 in Hobart, 30,000 in Launceston and 10,000 each of Burnie and Devonport.
In a statement, the Senator spruiked the benefits of the fibre network, claiming it will not only provide faster telecommunication capabilities but also better access to health services for families and better educational opportunities.
“It’s about creating and keeping jobs in Tasmania,” he said in the statement.
Details of further stages will be released in due course. The ultimate objective, according to Senator Conroy, is to connect 200,000 homes, business, schools and hospitals in Tasmania with 100Mbps broadband speeds.
Announced in July last year, stage one of the NBN rollout involved Smithton, Scottsdale and Midway Point. Stage two stretched the fibre to Sorell, Deloraine, George Town, St Helens, Triabunna, Kingston Beach and South Hobart.
US-based Corning Cable Systems was awarded the tender to provide optic fibre. The first NBN services in Tasmania are scheduled to be available from mid-2010.