Aust govt expands NGN rollout

Australia’s government has expanded its planned National Broadband Network (NBN), promising to service an additional 300,000 households with the 100 Mbps fiber network.
The enlarged rollout covers 93% of the population, up from 90% previously, with the remaining 7% of households in remote areas due to be serviced with wireless or satellite offering speeds of up to 12 Mbps.
The announcement comes at the height of a national election campaign, with the current Labor government due to face voters in a poll on August 21.
However, the conservative opposition party has threatened to cancel the rollout should it win government.
A recent report by Akamai on global internet speeds placed Australia at 50th, stating the country offered average download speeds of 2.6 Mbps.
Consultancies KPMG and McKinsey, which conducted an A$25 million (€17.4 million) study on behalf of the government, released in May, had recommended the extended fiber rollout.
The next-gen network, which estimated to cost as much as A$43 billion, will be rolled out by a new state-owned telco, NBN Co.
The company last month awarded Alcatel-Lucent an initial A$70 million contract for GPON gear.