Australia to Get Faster Broadband (Apr. 7, 2009) — The Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced an ambitious project to extend super-fast broadband internet systems across the country.

kevin-rudd“Just as railway tracks laid out the future of the 19th Century and electricity grids the future of the 20th Century, so broadband represents the core infrastructure of the 21st Century,” he said.

Under the new plan, the government will initially invest A$4.7bn with the overall investment from government and the private sector reaching up to A$43bn over eight years.

Mr Rudd linked the project to his plans to help Australia cope with the global financial downturn, saying it would create 25,000 jobs a year during construction.

Private firms, such as Singapore’s Optus and Canada’s Axia NetMedia had been bidding for a A$10bn – A$15bn fibre-to-the-node network offering speeds up to 12 megabits per second.

Experts advised the government to choose instead the more ambitious fibre-to-the-home network offering 100 megabits per second, accessible by 90% of Australian homes.

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