National Broadband Network
In 2009, the Australian Government committed to deliver superfast broadband to Australian homes and workplaces through a new National Broadband Network (NBN). The National Broadband Network Co. Limited (NBN Co.) was established to design, build, and operate the NBN.
The NBN will provide superfast broadband speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second for 93 percent of the population via the optic fibre network. While the remaining 7 percent of the population will have access to the NBN via a mixture of next-generation wireless and satellite technologies, providing peak speeds of 12 megabits per second.
A key component of the NBN was the provision of transmission links to a number of regional centres where there was a lack of competitive backbone infrastructure ("blackspots”).
AgForce partnered with the Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) in a submission in response to the Government's consultation paper regarding the Backhaul Blackspots Initiative.
In July 2009, the Government announced that backbone links would be built to a number of locations and in December 2011 the Regional Backbone Blackspots Program opened the final fibre optic backbone link, addressing the critical bottlenecks to competitive broadband services across regional Queensland.
AgForce passed the following resolutions in July 2009:
"That AgForce ask NFF to allocate priority to telecommunications issues, particularly the debate surrounding the National Broadband Network as a matter of urgency.”
"That AgForce support the Australian Government's policy to deliver superfast broadband of 100mbs to 90% of the population via optic fibre, and 12 mbs to the remaining 10% via a mixture of next generation wireless and satellite, and that such services be provided at a price comparable to that charged in metropolitan centres.” (AgForce executive, July 2009)
Where to from here?
Nextgen Networks, the company who built and will operate the backbone links for the first five years, is in the process of connecting retail service providers to the backbone link.
In October 2011, NBN Co. released its first 12 month roll-out construction plan, detailing the location of the fibre network for the next year. These plans are expected to be updated quarterly and will become a rolling 12 month schedule, where additional locations and NBN sites will be added.
The NBN Co. also recently signed a contract with Space Systems/Loral for the delivery of two Ka-band satellites. The satellites are set to be launched in 2015 and will, together with the fibre and fixed wireless networks, deliver universal broadband coverage across Australia.
AgForce will continue to pursue a reliable broadband service for rural, remote and regional Australia that is equitable in service quality, delivery, and affordability with the urban population.
To read AgForce's submissions on Backhaul Blackspots and the National Broadband Network please login via the Members Login button (located at the top right of the screen).
For more information:
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital EconomyNational Broadband Network NBN Co. Homepagehttp://www.nbnco.com.au/Or contact -
Dr Dale Miller
Senior Policy Advisor
Phone: (07) 3236 3100
Fax: (07) 3236 3700Email Dale