updated 10:50 am EDT, Fri March 25, 2011
Australia extends deadline for 100Mbps network
The government of Australia has extended the deadline to complete the 100Mbps national broadband network in order to boost coverage to 93 percent of the homes on the continent, up from 90. This translates to an extra million homes, and the new deadline is December 2020 instead of June 2018, Yahoo reported. The project is headed up by NBN Co and will cost $36 billion.
The optical fiber network will boost the economy and help reduce the isolation of those living in Australia's outback and other remote areas, but the opposition says the undertaking is too expensive.
The amendments to the build plan aren't welcomed by the private sector either. Major telecommunications provider Optus is concerned that one proposal would allow utility providers to buy their Internet access directly from NBN rather than retailers like itself, as was originally planned. Another change could reduce the country competition regulator's powers as well, the providers fear.
Homes and businesses that aren't connected to an optical fiber in the new network will use a wireless or satellite connection.