Basslink Telecoms has urged support for the national broadband network (NBN) in the hope that "political uncertainty" doesn't derail the project, which is delivering a major broadband infrastructure boost to Tasmania.In a rare interview, the operator of the subsea cable connecting Tasmania to the mainland told iTnews that it would likely be at least another year "before the real impact and implications of the NBN are fully reflected" in the island state."Basslink Telecoms notes that backhaul uptake directly related to the NBN has been cautious in the industry," a spokesman said."The business case is still problematic given the number of variables and relative lack of long term data upon which to base assumptions. "It is, however, improving as service providers realise the value of the NBN and are leading the charge."The first customers are being signed in stage one rollout areas for NBN Tasmania by ISPs including Internode, iiNet and iPrimus.Internode was one of Basslink's founding customers and iPrimus has also signed on for capacity.Fellow ISP iiNet is testing Basslink capacity it inherited via its acquisition of Netspace, which was rolling out its own DSLAM infrastructure in Tasmania before being acquired. The ISP told iTnews last month that it would push ahead to negotiate a longer-term agreement for Basslink access, primarily to take advantage of the business opportunity presented by the NBN.Basslink's comments come after it completed its first year of operations in July 2010. The launch last year was the subject of much fanfare and ISP interest, as it introduced backhaul competition on the Bass Strait route for the first time. Telstra runs two undersea cables on the route; many ISPs that use Basslink also rent capacity on the Telstra cables to provide a diverse route for data for redundancy purposes.Basslink's spokesman told iTnews that the first year of operation had seen "admirable" network performance and customer uptake, which it described as a "huge vote of confidence" in its infrastructure."[We're] currently investigating further [point-of-presence] POP locations for customer handoff and some additional product capabilities," the spokesman said.
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