NBN Rollout Begins

Tasmania becomes the testing ground for the NBN

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy has come out and said Tasmania would be the testing ground for the new National Broadband Network.

“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,” he said today, as the roll out of the NBN begins.

The cynic in us thinks the Minister is more motivated by being able to take flack from afar if the NBN has a lot of teething problems, rather than deal with criticisms from consumers from the bigger states. Testing? More like a guinea pig.

The first stage of the rollout will deliver wholesale-only, open access broadband network services in the second quarter of 2010.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the parties has been signed, and a new company (TNBN Co) will be established to undertake the project.

TNBN Co 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.

Today’s announcement coincided with the formal launch by Mr Bartlett and Senator Conroy of the commercialisation of the Basslink fibre connection between Tasmania and Melbourne, another critical milestone in ensuring a clever and connected Tasmania.