AUSTRALIA’S biggest telecommunications company is about to get a major boost to its business with the federal government providing $15.3 billion for new infrastructure to build the country’s biggest broadband network.
The $15 billion will provide an additional $5.3bn for regional broadband networks, $1.2 billion to upgrade existing infrastructure and $4.5 billion to extend fibre optic cables, according to the Government’s Federal Infrastructure Investment Review Board (FIRIB).
Fibre optic cables will be used to deliver high speed broadband across Australia’s three biggest metropolitan areas, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as a large swath of the south-east of the country.
Fibresat is the biggest telecommunications project in the world and the largest fibre optic network in the country, providing high-speed broadband services across more than 50 million homes and businesses in Australia.FIBRE optic cables have been around since the 1980s but were upgraded in the 1990s, when the technology became cheaper and more reliable.
But the technology has become more expensive as the cost of building new fibre optic networks has increased and the NBN rollout has been plagued by technical problems.
The Government has now announced the funding will be allocated to Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), which are both designed to provide fibre-to the node services.
It will provide up to $2 billion for FTTN and $2.4 billion for fibre-TO-the.-premises.
“It’s going to be a massive boost to the fibre network and the next wave of infrastructure, especially with the election coming up,” FttN chief executive Mark Toner said.
Mr Toner expects the funding to be available in two years, with FttP to follow in 2019.
“The NBN will be ready in 2019 and FTTP in 2020, so it’s very much in the planning stage,” he said.
“That means it’s going be a very, very challenging period for us and the industry to work out how we can provide the best service, to get the highest speeds, to have the best quality of service for our customers.”
But we’re confident that we’ll have the right infrastructure to deliver that.
“The FttNP is due to open on March 1, 2019, but the Government has announced it will not be open to the public until 2019.
In November, FttPN was delayed by a year and the Government is now pushing ahead with the upgrade of FttRP, which is due for completion in 2020.
The FtpN project will also be used by the Federal Government to upgrade a number of other infrastructure projects, including the Northern Australia Power Network (NAPN), which runs across much of Western Australia.
The new NBN will include a network of 5 gigabit per second (Gbps) and 10 gigabit/second (Gbs) Fibre Optic cables that are being designed for the rural and remote parts of the state.
The Federal Government has also agreed to build an additional 100km of FtpNP, which will run from the eastern tip of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland to Darwin.
The State Government will be responsible for delivering the network, with the NBN paying the full cost of the network for the next five years.
Mr Turnbull has said the NBN is an investment in our future.”
There’s a very good chance that we could have a fibre network that is going to replace our existing infrastructure,” he told the National Press Club in Canberra.”
We’ve got an enormous network, we’ve got a massive capacity, we have the greatest network in world, we can connect the whole country.
“Mr Teter said it was crucial that the Government delivered on the fibre upgrade.”
What we’re looking at is that the network is going in place before the election and it’s also going in the next year, because it is going into the next election,” he added.”
And that’s going into 2021.
“FttPP will be funded through a $1 billion concessional loan from the Federal Infrastructure Facility, while FTTP will be financed by the National Broadband Network Fund.
The NBN rollout will take place from September 2019.