World’s eyes on Aussie NBN: Conroy

Government also announces the first 6000km of regional fibre for the NBN - a $250m investment

Australia’s impending National Broadband Network (NBN) has garnered considerable interest internationally, according to Broadband Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy.

Attending the launch of NICTA’s new laboratory at the Australian Technology Park, Conroy said global representatives were eager to learn about the country’s ambitious $43 billion broadband network.

“I spoke to 700 delegates in Geneva [at the ITU Telecom World 2009 summit] and I had 15 people queued up [to speak to me],” he said.

“The Brazilian government wanted to talk to me about it and the Vietnamese Government wanted to know what we are doing, so there is genuine worldwide interest. I have been invited to Las Vegas to the world’s biggest consumer and electronics show to do a presentation about Australia’s NBN.

“People all over the world are interested and excited by what the Australian Government is trying to achieve.”

UK, Serbia and Belgium governments were also noted to have approached Conroy to discuss the new network.

Senator Conroy said Australia was at “the cutting edge” when it came to building an NBN but was quick to acknowledge it is not a cut-and-paste solution.

“One of the things I say is ‘I’m not suggesting that our solution can deliver your outcomes in your country’ because each of the market is different,” he said. “Through the course of the expert panel and the implementation study [due out in February 2010], we are gathering worldwide expertise on the best way to do our [own network].

“But in terms of if anyone has got a bold a plan as us, in terms of structure or policy mechanisms, we are leading the world in what we are trying to do.”

Separately, the Federal Government has also announced the first 6000km of regional fibre backbone links, the first building blocks of the NBN.

The $250 million investment would directly benefit more than 395,000 people in 100 regional locations and create new jobs across five states and the Northern Territory, Conroy said in a statement.