Telstra has lodged a proposal with the Australian Government to undertake the geographically largest fixed broadband development in Australia's history, according to the telco giant.
The move would deliver broadband for the first time to a quarter of a million homes and businesses in rural and remote communities.
The proposal would see fixed broadband coverage expanded from 91 per cent to 95 per cent of the population, including remote communities such as Birdsville, Groote Eylandt, and the Tiwi Islands.
Geoff Booth, country-wide group managing director at Telstra said the delivery of broadband speeds of up to 8 megabits per second under this plan would bring an end to the "digital divide" for many communities, providing an 'always on' broadband connection for more Australians.
"This ADSL broadband rollout would mean that even remote outback towns would for the first time be able to enjoy all of the social and economic benefits that come from being connected to high speed broadband," he said.
Telstra is seeking $600 million in funding from the Australian Government's Broadband Connect Infrastructure program to extend backhaul infrastructure to a range of remote communities, install ADSL broadband equipment in 1,560 exchanges and upgrade 1,029 large pair gain systems that currently prevent access to ADSL broadband services in some rural and regional areas.
Booth said Telstra's plan was different to other proposals as it sought to use proven ADSL technology and concentrated on taking broadband to Australians who were mostly without a broadband service other than satellite.
"All of the other proposals either want taxpayers' funds to needlessly duplicate infrastructure Telstra has already provided, or invest in technology that hasn't really been tested anywhere else in the world in a rural environment and, therefore, cannot be guaranteed to consistently deliver high speed broadband," added Booth.
Telstra propose biggest rollout in Australia's history
By Staff Writers on Jan 17, 2007 1:41PM