The Australian Government and Broadband Internet
The Federal government regulates and invests in the Australian broadband market through a number of projects. Through the National Broadband Guarantee and the National Broadband Network the government continues to support the take up of fast broadband internet connections as a valuable resource for the economy.
Australian Broadband Guarantee
In early March 2007 the Australian Government announced a $162.5 million Australian Broadband Guarantee to help more Australians access broadband services no matter where they lived.
The Australian Broadband Guarantee was established to fill any remaining black spots in access to broadband service in regional and remote areas. The Guarantee worked to ensure more Australians had access to high speed broadband services, even when they lived in rural or remote regions.
Under the Guarantee remote Australians could receive subsidies when installing satellite broadband services that are often prohibitively expensive without government assistance. It also offers a capped price for broadband services to ensure the cost of broadband in rural and remote areas was affordable.
Satellite customers signing up to a broadband plan with Bigpond or Optus may be eligible for a free installation under the Australian Broadband Guarantee.
National Broadband Network
The governments vision for the National Broadband Network involves establishing a company to invest up to $43 billion over the next eight years to operate and install the national broadband network which will provide superfast broadband to Australian homes and businesses.
The National Broadband Network will install Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). This means Fibre Optic cables will be run directly into homes and business across Australia, offering superfast speeds that will dwarf current ADSL2+ speeds.
The National Broadband Network will also work to address internet black spots in regional areas to offer high speed access to more Australians, no matter where they live.
How much access to this high speed network will cost the consumer has yet to be revealed.
The first recipients of funding under the National Broadband Network were recently announced with Emerald and Longreach in Queensland, Geraldton in Western Australia, Darwin in the Northern Territory, Broken Hill in NSW, Victor Harbor in South Australia and South West Gippsland in Victoria being named as the regions to receive the new optic fibre internet services. These communities were identified as in most need of funding to fast-track the rollout of the government's fibre-to-the-home network. Construction is due to commence on the high speed network before September this year.
For the rest of Australia it may be several years before super fast optic fibre internet comes to your area. For now, there are high speed ADSL ADSL2+ Naked DSL Cable and Mobile Broadband internet services available from a number of Australian broadband providers.