Aust opposition slashes broadband costs

Australia’s opposition party would scrap the government’s planned A$43 billion (€29 billion) FTTH network in favor of a far cheaper option that would cover more addresses.
The Liberal-National coalition would spend just A$6.3 billion on a high-speed broadband network that would cover 97% of the country’s population with a minimum 12Mbps connection speed, using a mix of fiber, wireless networks, and upgraded DSL lines.
While it would use A$2.75 billion of public money to construct the fiber backhaul it would seek up to $750 million in private funding, The Australian reports.
The private investment would be enough to cover the upgrades to current DSL exchanges to ADSL2+, and the party would pump a further A$1 billion into constructing wireless networks to cover metropolitan and rural areas.
Satellite broadband would be used to cover any remaining areas, the paper said.
The coalition would also scrap NBN, the company formed by the current Labor government to deploy and operate its planned high-speed network.
It would establish a National Broadband Commission that would publish details of broadband coverage in the country, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Labor proposes rolling out a 100Mbps fiber service to 93% of the population, with the remainder covered by a 12Mbps network.
NBN has already begun rolling out its network to Alcatel-Lucent for GPON equipment in June.