The first stage of the National Broadband Network is about to roll out in Tasmania, with the government releasing an open competitive tender for fiber optic cable by Aurora energy.
This would mean that 200,000 Tasmanian households and businesses will get broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps.
According to the Australian Government, the first stage of the NBN rollout will deliver wholesale-only, open access broadband network services in the second quarter of 2010, and will be used as a ‘learning tool’ for the benefit of the wider rollout of the network.
It will commence with procurement activities for equipment and resources, with the physical rollout beginning soon.
Tasmania’s Premier, David Bartlett said that the announcement follows a huge amount of preparation including design and planning undertaken by Aurora Energy to enable procurement to start in advance of construction.
Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy said, “In partnership with the Tasmanian Government and Aurora Energy, we are working to deliver superfast broadband services to address the lack of parity in available services compared to mainland Australia.”
“Tasmania has a long standing disadvantage in accessing high speed broadband and is the logical test bed for this nation-building National Broadband Network project,” added Conroy.
A new company (TNBN Co) will be established to undertake the project. This company will be a subsidiary of NBN co-jointly owned by Aurora Energy.
TNBN Co will construct a fibre-to-the-premises network to deliver speeds of 100 megabits per second, to 200,000 Tasmanian households and businesses.
The remainder of premises will be served by next-generation wireless or satellite services, offering speeds of 12 megabits per second or more.
The optic fibre cable tender details are now available on the Tasmanian Government’s Treasury website at www.tenders.tas.gov.au and advertisements will be placed in national newspapers on Saturday.